YES I CAN
Success is a Choice
You can succeed, if you believe you can
Abdus Samad H. Siddiqui
In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
Dedicated to My Parents
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All praise to Allah, the beneficent, the merciful and the creator of this
universe. Without His blessings, I wouldn’t have been able to write this
book. Pray to the Almighty Allah and give your best try and He helps. I
am thankful to Allah that He is with me all the time. Thank you for
providing me with the natural talents of creativity and putting my thoughts
in words and colors.
I am grateful to my parents who have always been with me from my
childhood and appreciated me in all my achievements. Without their
unconditional support, I would have stopped trying at some point in my
life. They tried to provide me everything I needed – the love, care, good
education, good learning environment, confidence and necessary
accessories. I Love you mom and dad.
Thanks are due to my siblings – Fahad Siddiqui and Maher Siddiqui and
some of my sincere friends, especially Syed Furqan Akhtar, Hammad A.
Mateen, Midhat Shahab, Sana Mahmood, Hammad Younus, Myra Nasir
Qureshi, Muhammad Khalid Saifullah, Muhammad Arshad, Muhammad
Zain Siddiqui and Hasan Shahid, who have given me the courage and
passion to try and produce results and who stood with me in difficult
times and occasions. Their advices and suggestions were always
I am also thankful to my office colleagues and supervisors; some of them
were a source of inspiration particularly Mr. Asif Saad, Mr. Qamar Haris
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Manzoor, Mr. Adnan Wasay Samdhani and Mr. Muhammed Talha Khan.
Thanks to Mr. Raja Waheedullah Khan, Mr. Tariq Nazir Virk, Mr.
Shamsuddin Ahmad, Mr. Irfan Ahmed, Mr. Farhad Jamil, Mr. Raza Anis
and my team members for their support in writing the book.
I would really like to appreciate the efforts of Mr. Arif Raza and Ms.
Shazia Siddiqui in giving me an opportunity to conduct training session
on “Yes I Can”, which has helped me in making some amendments in
the original drafted content of this book.
I feel a deep sense of gratitude to my teachers who have helped me
throughout my schooling life and beyond. My teachers have always been
my well wishers, mentor and source of inspiration. The names are not
limited to Ms. Ayesha Siddiqui, Ms. Talat Zohra, Mr. Rashid Ahmed
Khan, Ms. Zar Afshan Shakeel, Mr. Hashmat, Mr. Mukaram Siddiqui, Mr.
Abbas Mazhar, Prof. Akhtar Nadyme, Dr. Saad A. Qazi, Mr. Riazuddin,
Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Mr. Saleem Umer, Mr. Yaseen A Meenai, Mr. Jawad
Chaudhary, Ms. Naheed Memon, Mr. Sabir Syed and Mr. Rameez
Special thanks to Ms. Mehak Zahid and Ms. Afshan Zahid, the editors
and reviewers of this book, who have taken out time from their busy
schedules and reviewed it. Their positive feedback has added valuable
changes to this book. I would also like to thank Ms. Ecaterina Tomsa,
Acquisition Editor, for her assistance during the publication process.
Any omission of names, of those who helped me during writing this book,
is unintentional and I apologize for it.
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I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the readers of my book
in advance who have selected to read this book from the pool of books of
elite authors. Thanks to those who have gifted this book to their loved
ones with a wish to see them successful in their lives.
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Why You Should Read This Book? ....................................................... xiii
‘Yes I Can’ versus ‘No I Cannot’...............................................................1
Strengthen Your ‘Yes I Can’ .....................................................................8
1. Know Yourself.....................................................................................11
2. Crush the Enemy Called Fear ............................................................19
3. Nothing is Impossible..........................................................................24
4. Think Big and Innovative ....................................................................29
5. There is Always a Choice ...................................................................37
6. ‘Never Give Up’ Approach ..................................................................44
7. Game without Ball...............................................................................53
8. Disability is Lack of an Ability..............................................................59
About the Author.....................................................................................66
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I know a lot of people would say that this book is quite simple. This
comment is acceptable for me; in fact I would appreciate any such
comment. I have intentionally kept it simple. As Confucius said “Life is
really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
The reasons, for giving simplicity preference over complexity, are quite
simple themselves. First reason is that this book can be easily
understood by a school going boy or girl. When you are reading a
complex language, your mind is occupied in translating that language to
a simpler one. Since you are unable to concentrate on the context of the
book properly, there are chances that you do not fully understand it.
Second reason is that you can read this book in a very short span of
time. I believe when you are reading a complicated and detailed book,
you lose interest due to its verbose nature. Some people stop in the
middle of the book as they get tired of reading the same topic again and
again. You will find this book different as you can read it while on a flight,
during weekend or during your leisure hours easily. Third reason is that it
contains several topics that are based on common sense. Complexity is
anti to common sense and I don’t want to adopt a non-sense approach.
Anyways, you have the right to disagree with me on these justifications
to be an author of a simple book.
Why am I writing this book? This is a very important question. I would
emphasis on “Why” in this book several times. So this “Why” emphasis
should be applied to this book as well; “Why is this book written?”
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Firstly, this book is written to motivate readers to become a better
person, if not the best. By improving individuals, I am trying to improve
the state of the world we are living in. I am a believer of “Better People
– Better World – Better Tomorrow”. Let’s see how fruitful this effort
gets in improving individuals and the world.
Secondly, this book is based on the fact that knowledge increases if one
spreads it. The book describes several things that I have learnt in my life
and wish to share with the youth. I don’t want them to start their lives
from scratch and learn everything by experimenting. They can start the
innings of their lives not from zero runs, but from half century. Half
century will be based on my experiences.
Thirdly, this book is written on the beautiful thought of Toni Morrison that
if there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written
yet, then you must write it. This is the book, I wanted to read.
This book is my first book and I hope that this will play its role in
improving the lives of individuals. For your feedback and suggestions,
please feel free to contact me on email@example.com. I
try to reply all my emails within 24 hours.
Let the journey to betterment begin.
Abdus Samad H. Siddiqui
February 29, 2012
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Why You Should Read
Life is a process of continuous improvement. Your life is over, if your
progress, learning and personal development get to a halt. So for
continuous improvement, you have to develop certain skills, enhance
some skills and learn new things on regular basis. No matter how good
you are, there is always room for improvement. That is why it is said that
the enemy of great is good.
Just to iterate on the fact of continuous improvement, I have re-read this
book several times in order to improve it further. The initial draft was not
as good as the final one. There was also a provision available for further
improvement of this final draft. But as life is a continuous improvement
process, the things that are not covered in this book can be covered in
my future books.
To be a better person tomorrow than what you are today, you have to
achieve goals and attain success. The basis to the success is the
thought of “Yes I Can”. A wonderful little poem by Walter D. Wintle
summarizes the thought for reading and writing this book:
If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you think you can’t win, it’s almost certain you won’t
Life’s battles don’t always go to the strong or fast,
Sooner or later the man who wins,
Is the person who thinks he can!
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The theme of this book is similar to this poem - Yes I can! If you want to
kick the ‘t’ out of can’t from your life and turn it on with the expression
‘Yes I Can’, this is the book for you.
After reading this book, you will understand how to fuel the passion of
success within yourself, which is nothing but a strong “Yes I Can”. You
will find yourself accepting more challenges in life and achieving your
dreams, after reading this book. If sky is the limit for you then this is the
book you must read.
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‘Yes I Can’ versus
‘No I Cannot’
If you look at the map of this world, you will see North and South poles.
What are North and South poles to each other? In simple words, North
and South poles are opposite to one another. The more you travel
towards the North Pole, the further you get away from the South Pole.
‘Yes I Can’ and ‘No I Cannot’ are similarly apart and if you call ‘Yes I
Can’ a North Pole, ‘No I Cannot’ will be a South Pole. Both of these
feelings cannot go side by side.
‘Yes I Can’ and ‘No I Cannot’ are two entirely different feelings. When
you say ‘Yes I can’, what do you feel from inside? And when you say ‘No
I cannot’ what is your feeling then? Just recall the instances where you
said ‘Yes I can’ and ‘No I cannot’. The result would have been different in
both the cases.
“The first and most important step
toward success is the feeling that we can succeed.”
- Nelson Boswell
‘Yes I Can’ is a feeling of success. It’s a passion that needs to be fueled
if you want to succeed in life. When I say ‘Yes I Can’ to myself, I feel the
passion inside me to deliver. This passion will keep me working till the
job is successfully executed.
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If you start with the thought of ‘Yes I Can’ then nothing can stop you from
accomplishing your goals. You get the driving force, which is simply
unstoppable. ‘Yes I Can’ will keep you motivated and you will not give
up, no matter how difficult the goal is.
“When an egg is broken from the outside force, a life ends.
But when broken from within, a life begins.
Great things always begin from within.”
See the difference in the above two cases of broken eggs, in which one
is broken from outside and the other is broken from inside. The outcome
in both the cases is different – in fact quite different. You can see that it
was a matter of life and death. The outside world can motivate you to
some extent but to feel a permanent ‘Yes I Can’ within yourself, you have
to develop the confidence that you can. The motivation from the outside
world is temporary and ends soon. The real energy will come from within
and that will be everlasting. ‘Yes I Can’ perpetuates a persevering
confidence of achieving your dreams.
Yes I Can
No I Cannot
Success / Failure
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What will you get if you do nothing? Of course, you will get nothing under
normal circumstances. Exceptions do happen, but the probability of such
an exception is quite low. So if you have ‘No I Cannot’ attitude, then the
outcome of nothing is quite evident. Although ‘Yes I can’ attitude does
not guarantee success, there is still a 50 per cent chance that the
outcome is not a failure. The outcome of an effort can either be a
success or a failure. It all depends on how much energy was behind your
effort. The failure after an effort always reminds me of a saying of the
man behind the invention of light bulb, Thomas Edison.
“I have not failed.
I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
Thus failure is not at all a bad thing; it comes only to those who try.
There are occasions, when you attain success in the first attempt,
depending upon the nature of goal and definition of success. But usually
success comes to those, who keep trying. Try and don’t give up because
you can succeed. Even if you have to convince someone, which seems
very easy and a task that involves only words, you have to make multiple
efforts, putting in a different logic and reasoning each time to succeed.
Let’s take another approach to understand this. If you toss a coin, you
have two outcomes, a head or a tail. You can or cannot get a head in the
first attempt. If the coin is not tossed at all, there is neither a tail nor a
head. “Yes I can” attitude is just like tossing a coin, and getting either
success or failure.
In this regard, I would like to share a personal story. When I saw an ad of
a writing competition in the newspaper in 2007, which was entitled as
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‘Young Writer’s Competition’ and was organized by Oxford University
Press, Goethe-Institut and Heinrich BÖll Foundation, my initial thoughts
were that it would be a tough a competition. Pakistani youth is brimming
with a talent and I would not succeed in this competition. If I wouldn’t
have participated in this competition, I wouldn’t have written anything for
it, I wouldn’t have submitted anything, the judges wouldn’t have reviewed
my composition and ultimately I wouldn’t have been in the winners’ list.
This is what ‘No I cannot’ attitude is and the outcome of such an attitude
is nothing. On the other hand, I followed ‘Yes I Can’ approach. I wrote for
the competition, sent the story to the organizers, the judges reviewed the
submission and out of the 600 participants, I was listed amongst Top-120
Contributors, which is indeed an achievement.
In the above case, the outcome of my effort was a success. But the
outcome of an effort is not always a success. In 2008, I participated in
Annual Science Essay Writing Competition organized by National
Museum of Science and Technology, Lahore, Anjuman Barai Taleem,
Lahore and Pakistan Science Foundation, Islamabad. I didn’t qualify as a
winner and just received a certification of participation. Even certificate of
participation can be a source of encouragement, if you have an optimistic
What is Success?
Success is a relative term having a different definition for everyone. To
someone getting into an engineering, medical or business school might
be a huge success, while to others success might be buying the best cell
phone available in the market. Similarly, getting a six digit salary or the
luxury of driving the best car in the world could also mean success to a
lot of people. Thus, success can be interpreted in a variety of ways
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define success. What we fail to understand is that success is not only
something spectacular. Success doesn’t have a scale of millions of
rupees or topping the list. It’s about achieving the goal and not everyone
has goals to secure first position in the class or to be at the top. Some
people only focus on passing the exam and if they really pass the exam
that is success to them.
Success manifests also in the small things of daily life. For example, if
you reach somewhere on time, that’s success – you were successful in
reaching your destination in time. You should tap your shoulder every
time you achieve it.
If you search on the internet, you will come across the following
definitions of success:
It is the favorable outcome of an action.
It is growth, development, improvement and getting better.
It is achieving what you have set out to do.
When it comes to defining success, I would not create difficult target
bound definitions. Success is any thing in life that can bring a smile
on your face. No matter how small that thing is, if it is giving you
contentment, satisfaction and happiness, that’s success.
If you are smiling in your friends company, you are successful in making
good friends. If you bring smile on your spouse face, you are successful
in your married life. Thus you can enjoy success many times, every day.
You don’t have to wait for success till you have a million dollars in your
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bank account. Success has nothing to do with your bank account
Everything in life is important – be it small or big. Usually we focus on the
big issues and decisions in life and neglect the small but important
things. Sometimes a small issue and decision can impact life more than
the big one as it can change your direction. Being in a wrong direction;
the bigger decision you take, the more you deviate from your goal.
While running after big things in life, we neglect small things. These
small things bring more joy to us than chasing after the big things. We
don’t value the food made by our mom with love, rather we eye eating
food in a good expensive restaurant. We don’t like the careful drive of
our father on his bike, but keep thinking of a 1300 cc car driven by a
chauffeur. Think about it and redefine success to yourself. Be satisfied in
achieving small things in life as happiness is never small. Have a smile
on your face and bring it on the faces of your loved ones. Be successful
and bring success to others. Remember, happiness is a positive cash
What do you get when you succeed?
When you succeed, no matter how small your goal was, you achieve the
following along with success:
Confidence in yourself
Another reason to thank Allah
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Toss the coin till you get heads. Note the number of attempts it
takes to get heads.
Repeat the above exercise 5 times and see the difference in the
number of attempts each time to get heads. This will help you
understand that success doesn’t come on first attempt.
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‘Yes I Can’
Kick the ‘t’ out of can’t and then see the difference in your life. Kicking
this ‘t’ is easier than kicking the ball in football as the prerequisite in the
latter would be the knowhow of football. For kicking the ‘t’, you just need
the voice inside you saying ‘Yes I can’.
This book is written to strengthen your ‘Yes I Can’ passion. In the
chapters to come, the elements / principles that can strengthen your ‘Yes
I Can’ passion are discussed one by one.
Now you don’t have to put off the fire of achieving success within
yourself. You can now spread that fire and fuel it. The following are the
elements and principles:
1. Know Yourself: If you don’t know yourself, you wouldn’t know
your goals. And if you don’t know your goals, you will not be
interested in achieving what you are meant to achieve. In the case
when you don’t know yourself, you will extinguish the fire of ‘Yes I
Can’ while in the opposite case, you will pursue your desire and
your ‘Yes I Can’ passion would be stronger than ever.
2. Crush the Enemy Called Fear: Now that you have known who
you are, it’s time to defeat your biggest enemy, which is known as
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fear. People, who know their strengths and weaknesses, use their
strengths to overcome weaknesses.
3. Nothing is impossible: After the first two points, you know your
destination and you don’t have element of fear within yourself. It’s
time to strengthen the belief that nothing is impossible and it will
energize you like a high voltage line.
4. Think Big and Innovative: By this time, you have developed faith
that nothing is impossible. So your thinking will not be orthodox
anymore. You can think big and innovative.
5. There Is Always a Choice: If during the thought process, you
encounter a situation that makes you think that there is no option
for you, then the faith that there is always a choice, will make you
feel that you can maneuver your life as per your desire.
6. ‘Never Give Up’ Approach: After knowing yourself, defeating your
fears, believing that nothing is impossible from achieving goals and
thinking big to drafting your own life with the available choices,
there exists no reason to give up. Keep trying for the dreams and
goals till you succeed.
7. Game without Ball: You might think that when you would get time
for performing all the activities mentioned above. ‘Game without
Ball’ timeslot is the time for these activities.
8. Disability is Lack of an Ability: ‘Yes I Can’ is an ability and you
must use it. If you don’t, this is what disability is.
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Let’s start the journey towards success. These eight principles and
elements are fuel for your ‘Yes I Can’ passion.
- 11 -
“Who are you?” is not as easy a question as it looks. The answer to this
question is a summary of what you are. Knowing yourself is not about
knowing your name, gender, age, qualification and address. It is much
more beyond that. It is to know what you were, what you are and what
you will be. You must know your likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses,
ambitions, desires, goals etc.
“The Unexamined life is not worth living.”
As an answer to this question, saying that you are a human being is not
sufficient. We are all human beings, yet we are distinguished from each
other in a lot of ways. The names are different, the faces don’t resemble
with the others, the finger prints are not identical and the list of
distinguishing features continues. You should know who you are and
identify what is different in you. These distinguishing features really make
us, what we are. A painter is different from a writer, a musician is
different from a sportsman, a newscaster is different from an actor and
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If you know the answer to the question ‘who you are’, then you would
know where you want to go in your life. The real difference between the
winner and a loser is the fact that winners craft their own lives, whereas
the losers let others create their lives. Knowing yourself is not about
looking into the mirror. People may know you from outside, but your
inside is only known to you. The sea doesn’t look that deep from outside,
but there are thousands of species living beneath it. Jewel and shark
both are inside sea, what do you have inside you? Identify your
If you don’t know yourself, it is like you know nothing about anything.
Everything begins from within.
In order to elaborate this point further, let’s take an example of a person
who does not know who he is, where he wants to take his life, what his
likes and dislikes are, then he can never create his life. People will
persuade him to do things he never really liked or wanted to do. But
since he doesn’t have knowhow about himself and has no vision, he can
get deceived easily by hearing the point of view of others. This is the
case when he is not creating his life and the thoughts of others impact
his day to day decisions and ultimately his life. He will end up in a place
which was never his destination. Then he would have two options, either
curse himself for not having know how about himself and the vision or
curse others who have impacted his life.
I was attending one of Dawn All About Lifestyles Exhibition at Expo
center, Karachi. In this exhibition, several companies set up their stalls
and performed various activities to capture the attention of visitors. The
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more visitors one has, the more chances are there of selling the
products. It is nothing but an old marketing theory. One of the stalls was
very attractive and they were successful in capturing the attention of a lot
of visitors. The stall was of one of the leading banks of the country. This
bank was basically offering a game in which the participant had to go
blindfolded to the final post on the other side approximately 40 or 50 feet
away. It sounds easy but it was interesting to see the participants’
performances. When a participant started the journey towards the post,
the crowd started shouting to divert the participant. Some said turn right,
some said turn left and the participant went off track. When the blindfold
was removed, the participants themselves were astounded to see how
much they had deviated from the path and ended up somewhere else.
Similarly, you might be aware of the game Ankh Macholi (blind man's
bluff) where one of the kids is chosen to grab other kids in a blindfolded
state. This game is common among children. The kids divert the
blindfolded kid very easily and laugh, as he or she cannot see.
The correlation of the above two examples to an adult life is that if one is
unable to see, he or she can easily be deviated and he or she can end
up in a place completely different from the desired one. When you don’t
have knowledge of who you are and start acting upon what people say
then things, similar to what have happened to the blindfolded persons in
the above two examples, start happening in your life. Unfortunately,
there is no rewind button in life. Things what have happened cannot be
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To put it in a nut shell, those, who do not have vision and career goal,
end up somewhere else as they get easily confused from the point of
view of other people.
“Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to go to,”
said the Cat
“I don’t much care where …” said Alice
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat
This quote (from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) emphasizes the
importance of goal setting, which you cannot do unless you know about
Even when you go out, for instance shopping, you have your destination
and the purpose in mind. Here destination means the market from where
you can buy a product, which is your purpose. You wouldn’t say that you
will wander here and there till you find an unknown product from an
unknown place. Without destination and purpose, you cannot go to the
place where you wanted to go and have the thing that you wanted to
have. The combination of destination and purpose is your goal.
Consider another example to stress on this fact. Suppose you were the
lucky person, who has been given opportunity to fly anywhere free of
cost. You left Dubai without having destination in your mind. You were
unknown to the purpose of your travel and your destination. Let’s
assume that your interest was to go to Singapore but you were not
aware of this. Since you had no destination in your mind then there is a
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possibility that you could go to Karachi, Tokyo, Boston or London. You
can even reach back to Dubai, the place from where you started your
journey. But you never reached Singapore or even near it, which was
your destination. The following quote would summarize it:
“If you don't know where you are going,
you will probably end up somewhere else.”
- Lawrence J. Peter
It is very common that students follow others without keeping in mind
their likeness and interests when it comes to choosing undergrads
program, or job. This procedure is not good for deciding the future of the
kid. Mr Promond Batra in his book ‘Be a Winner Everytime’ says:
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap
If you want happiness for a day, go on a picnic
If you want happiness for a week, go on a vacation
If you want happiness for a month, get married
If you want happiness for a year, inherit wealth
If you want happiness for a lifetime, love what you do for a living
Thus career is so importance and it can give happiness for a life time.
But students don’t consider this and spend the rest of their lives
regretting their decision. Unfortunately there is no rewind button in life.
“I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun.”
- Thomas Edison
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The winners have a different way of leading a life. They create their own
lives and never deviate from the destination they have in their mind as
they have set goals in life accordingly.
As an external examiner at engineering university and an Assistant
Manager, I have conducted viva examinations and interviews of
approximately 500 students and graduates. In these interactions, I
noticed that students’ introduction comprises of two sentences – name
and information regarding class or degree, which of course is not a good
introduction. This shows that they don’t know themselves. This two line
introduction shows three things.
Firstly, the person that has not accomplished anything in the past that is
worth mentioning and this predicts that he / she is not going to
accomplish anything worth mentioning in the future as well. Remember,
the past predicts your future. If you have not put in any efforts in the past,
this shows your lack of motivation, vision and efforts. The remedy to it is
to participate in extracurricular activities actively.
Secondly, this reflects that you don’t have any knowhow regarding
yourself. If you would have known yourself, then your introduction
wouldn’t have comprised of two sentences. Show the world that you
know yourself well. If you don’t know yourself then how can you say that
you know the other things?
Thirdly, it reflects that there is nothing significant in your life besides
being a student of xyz class or a graduate. There are various things
going in the life of a student as well. Consider my introduction as ‘My
- 17 -
name is Abdus Samad and I am author of this book’. Is this introduction
enough? It is an inadequate introduction. The person who will see this
introduction would not be able to construct an image regarding me.
This is not a book that can guide you on setting proper goals. For making
the goals and achieving them, read articles or books specific for making
goals. However, I am including an extract for your guidance in this
‘I am John Stanford and I am 14 years old. I live in California and am the
son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Stanford. I am very interested in science. I
watch the programs on National Geographic Channel on regular basis
particularly that are for youth. I get fantastic grades in science but I am
weak in mathematics. To improve my mathematic, I have requested my
parents to arrange a private tutor for me so that I could improve my
grades in mathematics too.
Since science is my favorite subject, I take especial interest in its
experiments and my teacher says that I could become a good scientist.
The thought to become a scientist really fascinates me and yes I have all
what is required to become a scientist. When I will become a scientist
and have my own lab with assistants, I will be a partial successful man. I
would be successful in real terms when I will come up with inventions
that could relieve and help humanity and improve their lives.’
- From Secrets of Success (LAP)
- 18 -
List down 10 things that you like and dislike.
List down 10 of your strengths and weaknesses.
Prepare a career statement like that of John Stanford (mentioned
in the chapter).
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Crush the Enemy Called
When you decide to reach your destination, what is the first thing you do
after the thought process? It’s taking the first step. So after knowing who
you are, you must take the first step towards achieving what you want in
Have you seen a child taking his first step? His first step is cherished by
the family members. All smiles at the first step of a child because this is
in real terms the start of his or her life. The first step is the indication that
he or she has begun the journey of life.
Similarly, when one takes the first step in the way of the destination
(determined by goals), the journey begins. No matter how far the
destination is, the first step makes it one step closer. The first step is
followed by second step and after you have taken the second step, the
destination is two steps closer. After second step, there is third step and
the journey gets started. The first step is an indication that the
destination is getting nearer. No matter how far the journey is, it
begins by taking the first step.
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If you take an example of job hunting, it is also a step by step process.
You cannot have job offer before an interview. For instance, there are
lots of steps in the recruitment process of several multinationals. Initial
short listing is carried out on the basis of resume, which is followed by an
assessment test. The next step is screening interview, then final
interview. Medical test follows these activities. Some companies do have
a group discussion in between these steps. The offer is made after
clearing all these steps and it is a step by step process.
Still people are very confused and sometimes not interested in taking the
first step and this stops the progress in one’s life. It’s necessary to take
the bold first step for the journey that leads you to your dreams. Defeat
your enemy called fear.
Fear has many forms. It can be fear of failure, fear of committing
mistakes, fear of embarrassment and so on. Whatever the form of fear
you have, it should be defeated. Only when you defeat fear, you will find
yourself ready for success.
A. Fear of Failure:
Failure is nothing but the road to success. If you don’t try, you will not
experience failure. But you will not experience success either. Success
comes to those who try. Just for the fear of failure, you should not give
“Every failure brings with it
the seed of an equivalent success.”
- Napoleon Hill
- 21 -
In mathematical terms, for every attempt, there is a 50 per cent chance
of success and a 50 per cent chance of failure. It is a good figure, don’t
you think the same?
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
- Elbert Hubbard
Let’s end this note with a Japanese saying that failure teaches success.
B. Fear of Mistakes:
You are neither a software nor a robot, which are programmed to act
upon the command that is given. While trying to achieve something, you
can commit a mistake. This is natural. I would be more concerned if you
don’t commit a mistake, as all human beings are designed to commit
mistakes. Insaan khata ka puttla hai (to err is human).
“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”
- Oscar Wilde
If mistakes were avoidable, then there would be no concept of
forgiveness. Allah forgives the person who has committed sins. You
forgive people around you. Just thinking about the mistakes before
making attempts is indeed not a good thing to think about. Elbert
Hubbard is this regard said:
“The greatest mistake you can make in life
is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
- 22 -
Keep on trying and don’t worry about the mistakes. It is the output that
counts, not the mistakes. During the construction phase of a building,
several mistakes happen. But masons correct those and what you see at
the end is a beautiful edifice. I have a list of my achievements, but I don’t
have a list of the mistakes that I made in my life. Have you seen any CV
in which the mistakes of an individual are highlighted? CV only shows
achievement, and in fact achievement is one of things that the recruiters
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable,
but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
- George Bernard Shaw
C. Fear of Embarrassment:
Fear of embarrassment commonly comes in the form of the question
‘What will people think or say?’ Simple answer to this question is ‘don’t
think what people will think about an effort you made’. Did you give them
the right to comment on all things you do?
I am sharing this book with readers. If I was fearful, I wouldn’t have
published this book. If one keeps on writing and lets no one read
because of fear then what would the use of writing be. People are better
writers than me and have amusing talent and concepts but they are
afraid to send their stuff for publication because they think that it is not up
to the mark. What will other think and say after reading my piece of
writing? Let me tell you frankly, if I hadn’t sent my writings to the
newspapers, I would have zero publication till now. if I hadn’t shown this
book to someone, you wouldn’t have been reading it. had I been afraid to
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take the first step, this book would have been in a shelf at my bedroom in
“Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of
embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of
death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you
are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking
you have something to lose.”
- Steve Jobs
Just look around, you will find that people who laugh at others are in fact
not doing anything themselves in life. They cannot really see you
progressing. This fun making, which you take as embarrassment, is in
fact jealousy at their end.
A word of advice, use your strengths to overcome the weaknesses you
have. Fear is a weakness, which is not invincible.
What do you fear in your life?
Is your output too much dependent on what people will think or
say? Rate on the scale of 1-5 (1 for least and 5 for most).
- 24 -
Nothing is Impossible
You might have heard people say that it was impossible to achieve. Why
do they think that it was impossible? Each problem has a solution
because Impossible says I-M-Possible.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’
- Audrey Hepburn
If you pronounce the words ‘possible’ and ‘impossible’, which word would
take more energy? Saying ‘possible’ is easier than saying ‘impossible’
and also it is energy efficient. Then why do people say ‘it’s
IMPOSSIBLE’. Why do we waste more energy in saying longer word –
impossible? Why not put the extra energy in achieving something?
‘Nothing is impossible’ is also an Islamic faith. Allah has provided
solution to all the problems and cure to all the diseases. Prophet
Muhammad PBUH said on the subject:
“There is no disease that Allah has sent without
sending down its treatment.”
- 25 -
If no disease is incurable, then how can any other thing on this planet be
impossible? What makes you think that it’s impossible? It is only your
thinking that convinces you that it is impossible for you to achieve it. If
you think you can then definitely you can!
“Anything the mind of a man can conceive and believe,
it can achieve.”
– Napoleon Hill
There are so many dangerous activities in the world, like fire fighting,
mountain climbing, space journey, deep sea diving, bungee jumping,
rock climbing etc. Are you doing anything that is tougher than these?
Then how can you say that it is IMPOSSIBLE to achieve it? Just think!
Consider the following few examples. These examples will make you
believe that nothing is impossible.
Had Boom Boom Shahid Afridi thought of making a century in less than
40 balls in One Day International (ODI) cricket match as impossible, he
would never have scored world’s fastest century in just 37 balls against
Srilanka in 1996.
Had the Pakistani mountain climber, Nazir Sabir thought that it is
impossible for a Pakistani to climb Mount Everest, he would never have
climbed it and consequently could never have become the first Pakistani
to climb the world’s highest peak.
Pakistani Athlete, Naseem Hameed became the fastest woman in South
Asia when she won a gold medal in the 100 meter event of the 11th
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South Asian Federation Games in Dhaka in 2010. Could she attain this
position if she had thought it’s impossible?
If Imran Khan had thought that it was impossible for team Pakistan to win
the World Cup then team Pakistan would never have won its first World
Cup in 1992.
Ali Moeen Nawazish, a Pakistani student, was the first in the world to do
23 A Level subjects, while achieving the highest marks in 22 of them.
Had he thought it to be an impossible feat, he would never have
achieved this amazing result.
No mountain is too high, no river is too wide, no desert is too vast, if you
want to go beyond it.
“Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people
not smart enough to know they were impossible.”
- Doug Larson
I would never have secured the first position in the engineering program,
if I had not tried to get it. I would then have been an average student. But
due to my hard work and the faith that nothing is impossible, I achieved
When I joined IBA, People said that being an engineer, it wouldn’t be
possible for me to shine in a business program. But thanks to Almighty
Allah that I have been mentioned in the Dean’s list of distinguished
students. This was possible only because I didn’t think it to impossible.
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“Anything you can imagine is real”
The list of achievements, based on nothing is impossible, is too long and
cannot be jotted down in this book. But including some of these
achievements is important in emphasizing the importance of thinking that
nothing is impossible.
Nothing is impossible is the theme that should be adopted. By virtue of
this theme, one gets the passion to work harder and with more
enthusiasm as the path to success doesn’t look impossible. Everything is
achievable if you believe on ‘nothing is impossible’.
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”
- Benjamin Spock
List down 5 things that you thought were impossible in your life to
attain, but when you tried, you were successful.
What was your first thought which came into your mind when you
achieved something that was impossible in your thoughts?
What was the first remark made by your friends / family members
when you achieved something that was impossible in their
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List down 5 things that you think are impossible for you to achieve.
Are they really impossible or are they saying individually that I-M-
Possibe. Why do you think they are impossible?
- 29 -
Think Big and Innovative
“I find many people around us, everyday, who are committed to
revert back to the ultimate creator, and return Him the gift of mind,
- Sohail Zindani
So here it goes. Put aside the innovation and thinking big, a lot of people
don’t use their mind at all and give it to the God, after their death
completely unused. You can easily find these sorts of people around you
every day. There is a big difference in thinking and thinking big. All
individuals, other than the kind of people mentioned by Sohail Zindani in
his book Common Sense at Work, think but only successful people think
big. Thinking also involves dreaming. There is a difference between a
dreamer and a person who has big dreams, the dreamer sleeps while
the person who has big dreams wakes up and achieves the dreams.
I was always fascinated by the thought of how electric gadgets work.
Whenever I saw an electric toy in my childhood days, I would wonder
how it worked. One question that always pricked me was how a wall
socket or battery produced electricity.
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I selected science subjects as major in Secondary and Higher Secondary
Education due to my inclination towards science. To find out the
answers, I studied electrical engineering at undergrads. It is more fun to
study the subjects of one’s choice. How many of us think about what to
study? Most of the classmates, I had in my undergrads class, were
studying the course either because they couldn’t get the admission into
the program of their choice or it was the choice of their parents. Only a
few had a clear understanding of why they were studying electrical
engineering and they were among the position holders. Your interests do
But this doesn’t mean at all that if I have studied electrical engineering, I
cannot make career in any other field. I had a desire to study various
subjects regarding electrical energy, its generation, transmission,
distribution and utilization and by choosing these in my undergrads
program, I was successful in achieving my goal.
I am working in techno-managerial role, where I am leading a technical
team and achieving business objectives. Now I have an inclination
towards a management role and pursuing MBA to achieve this goal.
“What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to
change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.”
- Wayne Dyer
I would like to share one interesting thought of my childhood period. I
always pondered over how actors know about the product they are
advocating in advertisement in advance. To clarify this thought, take an
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example. The ad that was on air at television was regarding a tooth
paste. The girl in the ad was emphasizing to buy this toothpaste and
save two rupees on this product. I wonder how she knew that there was
a saving of two rupees. Similarly, there was an ad in which the children
were emphasizing on the quality of the product. I wonder how they knew
regarding it in advance and I didn’t.
I may not be the best author and painter in this world. But I am satisfied
and happy as I don’t plagiarize. Whatever I write or paint is my creation.
Whether you think big or small, thinking itself is an appreciable act. It
doesn’t matter how small you think, as long as you are thinking. Thinking
and dreaming will provide you passion for achieving more.
"We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.
They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of
a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but
others nourish and protect them;
nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine
and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that
their dreams will come true."
- Woodrow Wilson
One day I contemplated why the thought process is so down in our
society. In my eyes, there are some flaws in our education system,
particularly in average schools. Firstly, most of the students learn by
heart the answers of questions and reproduce them in the examination.
Due to this grading system, students prefer memorizing rather than
emphasizing on the content. The thought process is never involved.
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Secondly, whenever students are asked to submit the assignment, they
plagiarize either from internet or from books and periodicals. Again the
thought process is not involved. Thirdly, during projects, the students
search the circuits on internet and replicate them as they are. This does
get them marks, but the real purpose of the project, which was thinking,
was not achieved.
As far as innovation is concerned, the following two interesting theories
of Sardar jee that I have received via sms are for the readers to smile. I
don’t know the source of these theories. If anyone knows, please send
me the details via email and I will add the citation to these theories in
Sardar’s Theory 1
Moon is more important than sun, because moon gives light at night
when it is needed and sun gives light during the day when it is not
Sardar’s Theory 2
Sardar is in dissection class of cockroach. He cuts the 1st leg of
cockroach and says “Walk”. It walks. He cuts two more legs of cockroach
and says “Walk”. It walks. He cuts all the legs and says “Walk”. The
cockroach doesn’t walk this time. As a conclusion, he writes, “After all
the legs of a cockroach are cut – it becomes deaf”.
I appreciate these theories because they involve a thought process.
The difference between the Hollywood and Bollywood is the same –
Thinking. With all the glamour of Bollywood, it is incomparable to
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Hollywood on account of thinking as the movies are based on the same
storyline of romance and tragedy. But the subjects in Hollywood are
different – they are diversified from the future world to the magical world,
from the crime stories to romance, from the underwater exploration to the
space voyage. All these subjects need thinking. When it comes to soaps,
do you think a typical saas bahu (based on mother-in-law and daughter-
in-law relationships) drama qualifies as a very thought-out project?
Consider two of Walt Disney’s movies ‘The Enchanted’ and ‘Bedtime
Stories’. Both of them had been on a very different theme. This is
thinking in a true sense. In the former movie, the fairy tale transformed in
to the metropolis story. In the latter one, bedtime stories turn out to be
the real ones. I appreciate these out of the box plots.
Consider the renowned Harry Porter series by J. K. Rowling. It had
gained worldwide fame just due to its unique theme and plot. The world
admires great thinkers. If you don’t think, you are as good as a donkey.
The scientists are awarded prizes on the new theories and ideas in the
world of science. The economist who comes up with an innovative idea
of economic growth gets the awards. The IT people think and develop
new gadgets and softwares that indeed make our lives easier. The
pharmacists come up with new medicines and healing processes due to
thinking. Have you ever thought what will happen if all these people
stopped thinking? The world would be a different place, with no
difference even after decades.
- 34 -
Had the Wright Bros not come up with the idea of airplane, could we
think of flying from the East to the West within a few hours? Similar is the
case of telephone, which was invented by Alexander Gharam Bell. We
couldn’t have entered such advanced era of communication without this
invention. We should be thankful to Thomas Edison, who invented the
light bulb. Without light bulb, we would have been living in darkness. The
list of inventors and great thinkers is infinite. Success comes to those
Allama Iqbal, the great poet and philosopher of the Indian Sub Continent,
thought about the independent Muslim state which Muslims got under
the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. What would
have happened if he had not thought about the Muslim state?
Allah also wants us to think. The Holy Quran says on this subject:
And among His Signs is this that He created for you mates from
among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and
He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are
Signs for those who Think and Reflect. [30:21]
We have sent down unto thee the Message; that you may explain
clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may Think and
Sir Ken Robinson said in an inspiring speech at a Technology-
Entertainment-Design (Ted) convention “The times in which we live
and the complex challenges that lie ahead demand that we
challenge the way we think”. We indeed need innovative solutions to
- 35 -
the problems in this era. If I can drive my car, log-in to my social media
site, listen to the music, eat the food, then why on earth should I ask for
your solutions to my problems. Does it make sense? Obviously not! I
accept the fact that there are some situations in life where one has to ask
for support from others, but if a person cannot solve his problems all the
time, he needs to develop problem solving skills rather than getting
dependent on others. No one can take someone with him or her
everywhere to take the decisions on his or her behalf. The decision
ultimately depends on one’s ability to think.
Decision making is a very important area and without dominating this
area, one cannot succeed in his or her life. Take the example of a
cricket, the most successful batsman is the one who can place the shots
according to the balls the bowler bowls. If he goes against the line of the
ball, he can get out instead of scoring runs. What makes him place his
strokes as per the balls and fielders placement? It’s his decision making
skills. Similarly, the bowler balls as per field placing and considering the
abilities of the batsmen. You might have seen several matches where
the decision has taken place at the final over of the second innings.
Sometimes the bowling side wins, while at others, the batting side
emerges victorious. The one who wins is the better decision maker.
That’s why I, in my writing and discussions, always put emphasis on
sports because it enhances decision making skills and stimulates
Last thing to consider in this chapter is based on the beautiful thought of
Shakespeare that Nothing is good or bad, it is thinking that makes it
so. This saying highlights the importance of thought. If you are a positive
- 36 -
thinker, then you could see even the negative things as positive. But if
you are a pessimist, then you would look at the whole world with a
negative point of view. Change your paradigm. You are here on this
planet for just a few days. Don’t waste time in negative thoughts.
Which is the best decision you have taken in your life?
What does your mind mostly think about?
Do you dream?
- 37 -
There is Always a Choice
“Professor Stanford has spoiled my day. He has given me a B-grade in
my assignment.” This is a student’s comment when he sees his result
and spoils his mood.
“My boss has taken the credit of my work. What an unfortunate person I
am. Now I will not work well. My day is spoiled.” A hard-working sub-
ordinate says this when he sees his boss taking the credit for his work.
His mood is ruined.
“Can’t you buy me a new diamond set? Have you seen Lubna’s set. Her
husband gifted it on her birthday and by the way, he earns lesser than
you. You are the worst husband in the world.” This is a wife’s comment
and that turns her husband off.
We come to hear similar statements in our society very frequently. It
seems that the easiest job in this world is to spoil one’s mood and to
blame it on the remarks of a teacher, boss, wife or someone else.
As a matter of fact, nobody in this world can make you sad except you.
Don’t believe in what I am saying? We basically deceive ourselves by
- 38 -
blaming others for upsetting us. We think that husband, wife, brother,
sister, boss, teacher, or friend has ruined our mood. In fact we have
chosen to spoil our mood. You had two choices in the reaction of what
others have said or done – to spoil your mood or not to spoil your mood.
Positive and negative thoughts are made in your brain. In a reaction, if
you have chosen to produce a negative thought then your mood would
be ruined. If you have chosen to produce a positive thought then you
would have been happy. The choice is always yours.
On an Eid day, the Kurta, I had to wear, got marks during ironing. I had
two choices, either to spoil the day or to forget the marks on it and cheer
the auspicious occasion. I chose the latter.
Remember, for every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of
happiness. These sixty seconds can never come back, no matter how
much you try. Above all, these could be the last sixty seconds of your
life. So don’t ruin even a second of your life.
“Anyone who angers you conquers you.”
- Elizabeth Kenny
A lot of people complain “If I were born in America, I would have been
more successful”, “If I were an engineer, I would have designed the
tallest building in the world” or “If I were born in 20th century, my life
would have been much easier”. Basically they are the ones who have
chosen to complain and do nothing. We should remember that nobody in
this world can make a brand new start and correct the wrong things. In
deed we have to focus on the end as we can make a brand new end by
- 39 -
doing things which can make our dreams come true. Again it’s a matter
of choice. It looks strange but it’s true.
I was once asked in the interview ‘What would you like to do different in
your life if you have been given life again’. Yes I would like to do one
thing differently but I cannot make it a reason for giving up my future. I
have worked hard day in and day out to get rid of that thing as I believe
that I cannot make a brand new start, but yes I can make a brand new
The difference between a successful person and a loser is in making
choice. The successful person chooses to live a successful life and a
loser chooses to live an unsuccessful life.
Take an example of a cricket match. The toss preempts the match but
has a lot of impact on the outcome of the match. The team, which losses
the toss, follows the decision of the captain winning the toss. In 2011
world cup, Pakistan had lost the toss against Australia in the last group
match. Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, made a decision to bat first.
We all know that team Pakistan is not a good chaser of runs while
playing second, but Shahid Afridi and the team mates did not let this
element influence them. They worked hard and restricted Australia to a
less than 200 score and chased the target. The outcome of the match
was in favor of Pakistan even after losing the toss and not batting first. In
this case, Shahid Afridi had a choice – either to work hard and restrict
the Australian team to a lower score so that his team could chase or
make losing the toss and batting second an excuse for losing the match.
- 40 -
It was up to him, but he made a choice to win and when this choice is
made all you have to do is to try till you win.
There are people who don’t do anything for their future, but they keep on
cursing their past. This is again their choice. They could have done a lot
in their future. But all they have chosen is to cry over spilt milk. This is
not at all an intelligent choice. Past, however dull and unpromising, is
complete. This chapter of your biography is complete. The future is yet to
come and you have to write this chapter. Don’t let others (including your
past) write this chapter.
The choice is very crucial; I came to know when I started investment in
stock market. The choice of shares you make will result in profit or loss
for you. The timing you choose for buying / selling is very critical. It is a
game of choice and decision. Decision is in fact your choice keeping all
the parameters in mind.
The choice factor also segregates the reactive and proactive people. The
reactive people, who react after an incident, don’t have option and are
left with saying ‘I must do this’. This is not a choice; this is now the only
option left. The effective people are proactive people and they say ‘I
choose to do this’. The following are simple examples:
Proactive People Reactive People
I am going to write this
report today, so that I
get plenty of time to
review it till next week.
I must write this report
today as I have to submit
- 41 -
Proactive People Reactive People
I chose to complete the
assignment last week so
that I don’t have to rush
in at the eleventh hour.
I have to complete this
assignment within an
hour as its submission is
due in an hour.
When I graduated from the engineering school, I had many employment
opportunities. I could have gone for teaching in an engineering school. I
could have joined a designing firm, where I could have designed
electrical gadgets such as transformers, motors, generators etc. I could
have joined a sales department of an electrical equipment manufacturing
company. But I chose to join a multinational company in a techno-
managerial position, which was in accordance with my career objectives.
I wanted a managerial position, where I could manage the operation of a
section. Thanks to Almighty Allah, as he has given me an opportunity to
work at a managerial position and I am leading electrical maintenance
function that comprises of 30 mid career professionals with local and
foreign experience in technical area.
Still you think that you don’t have a lot of options to choose from? Well it
is time to change your mind. You have more choices than you think you
have. Some of the choices you have on daily basis are:
Choose Not to get angry
Choose Not to complain
Choose Not to tell a lie
Choose Not to give up
- 42 -
Choose Not to take tension
Choose Not to be jealous
Choose Not to be selfish
Choose Not to cause pain to others
Choose Not to bad mouth
Choose to smile
Choose to be helpful
Choose to be a dutiful citizen
Choose to be a better person than the last day
Choose to be trustworthy
This list can keep on going, but I choose to stop here and I hope you
have got the idea of your choices on the basis of this list.
A choice is not merely something spectacular. It can be any one of the
Time to wake up by setting an alarm.
Which bus to take when two have came simultaneously at stop?
Making a phone call to a friend.
Sending an SMS.
Reading this book.
So why not make a choice to achieve success in your life? Choose to
achieve your goals, choose to never give up, choose to try and keep
trying till you get what you want.
Now don’t say you didn’t have options in life to choose from!
- 43 -
List down 5 choices that you have made today and analyze the
impact of these choices on your day.
List down the other options you had in the 5 choices you have
made today and imagine the impact of these choices on your day.
Did you make the right choices?
- 44 -
‘Never Give Up’ Approach
“It does not matter how slowly you go
as long as you do not stop.”
The above quote reminds me of the famous tortoise and hare story, in
which the tortoise wind due to continuous effort and never give-up
approach. We have been brought up, listening to this story. How can we
forget the moral of the story, which is nothing but never give up
You might have seen football games in which the team which is down by
one goal tries to score equalizer. The players keep on crossing the
central line and attacking the goal area. Sometimes they are successful
and sometimes their efforts turn out to be abortive. What is the lesson in
these attempts? Just try and keep trying till you succeed. If the players
don’t try for the equalizer, will they get one? Certainly not!
A similar example, consider the game of cricket. If the team batting
second requires 20 runs in the last over, how on earth can they win?
- 45 -
Simply by trying to hit big shots, right? If the batsmen don’t try, the team
can never win. By trying to hit fours and sixes, the team can win. This is
another example of never give up approach till you succeed.
Let’s take another example. A person who is drowning in swimming pool
will have two options – one is to drown calmly without making any effort
to save his life and second is to try to come out of water alive. Which of
these options should he opt for if he wants to come out of water? By
putting in no effort or by trying? Sometimes trying hard is not just to get
successful, but it becomes a matter of life or death as in this example.
Take the example of Aisam ul Haq Qureshi – the tennis star from
Pakistan. He started his international single ranking as an unknown
player. There is no international tournament of Tennis in Pakistan.
Despite these facts, he didn’t give up. Gradually he managed to get up in
the international ranking and played the final of US Open, the grand
slam, twice. Nobody could have thought that the person belonging to the
country, where no international tennis tournament takes place, will
qualify for the final of grand slam twice. This was only possible due to his
hard work and ‘never give up’ approach. In 2011, he jumped to the 8th
position in doubles rankings.
We all remember the six of Javed Miadad in Sarjah, UAE against India in
1986 at the last ball of the match, when four runs were required. Before
the last ball, he had two choices, to give up and accept defeat against
India or to fight and ‘not to give up’. He chose the latter and played a
stroke that cleared the boundary and resulted in the victory for Pakistan.
- 46 -
On this topic, I would like to highlight one of the phenomenal batting
performances by Abdul Razzaq against South Africa at UAE in 2010,
where he scored 109 runs in 72 balls. The astounding performance had
seven fours and ten sixes. His single handed contribution made team
Pakistan win by one wicket with one ball remaining. Such a performance
is not possible if you don’t adopt ‘never give up’ approach.
The result of a try is not always a success. Sometimes the effort results
in a success, while at others, it turns out to be abortive. But it is very
important that we try our best and put all our efforts to be successful.
‘Not to give up’ is the approach of successful people.
Remember, ‘Try’ is a small word that can make a big difference. If we try,
we only risk failure but if we don’t, we ensure failure.
To get anything in life, one has to try a lot and adopt ‘never give up’
approach. If the first step is not taken, the person cannot climb up the
stairs and reach to the top.
I would like to share two incidents from my life as examples where I tried
a lot. Once I was successful and once I was not, but I didn’t give up.
In 2006, I was a student of third year of engineering program. in order to
get exposure of the corporate world, it was mandatory to do internship
during summer vacations. Before summer vacations, I was evaluating
various companies to shortlist some in accordance with personal
statement. After detailed analysis, I shortlisted two multinational
organizations for this purpose. Due to my good academic background, I
- 47 -
was sure that I would be accepted for the internship program at the
organization of my choice.
A few days later, I noticed an announcement on the notice board
regarding one of the companies I had shortlisted. It said that the
interested students should send their resume to that organization via
Department of Industrial Liaison (DIL), which is designated for placement
of students at various organizations. At the bottom of the notice, the
email address and phone number of the HR Manager of the company
was mentioned. I submitted my CV to DIL, which was supposed to send
it to the HR Manager of that organization as per the notice. Everything
was going smoothly when the twist came during the placement process.
Two of my friends received calls from that organization, but I didn’t. It
was a bolt out of the blue for me. To find out the cause of rejection, I
contacted DIL. Their response was that they never dispatched the CVs
due to delay in signing by the head of the department on the cover letter.
If this was true, I wondered how my classmates got the offer. I asked
them how they had sent the CVs. The answer from both of them was that
they had sent the CVs directly to the HR Manger on the email address
mentioned on the notice.
This was strange; the letter said that the CVs should only be sent via
DIL. Now if I had accepted the result of this outcome as a decision of my
fate, then I would have lost this internship opportunity. But it is rightly
said that the successful person makes his own fate. I decided not to give
up. I called at the number of the HR Manager and spoke to her. Also I
emailed her regarding the issue. She said that the company had a
deadline during which she had only received some resumes at her email
- 48 -
address and the candidates were selected on merit basis from those
CVs. I explained my point of view to her that I had submitted resume to
DIL, as per the notice. But the resume couldn’t reach her due to delay by
DIL. I had the best merit among them. She accepted that whatever had
happened was neither her nor my fault. The problem was that the
organization wanted only two interns and they had been selected on
merit. After my discussion with her, she talked to the Director of DIL and
to the management of her company. After these discussions, she
contacted me and said “We are delighted to see your interest in our
company. Since we have selected two interns, it would be unjustified to
cancel their internship after sending them the official letters. But you
were missed due to the delay from DIL. To resolve the issue, we are
happy to select you as an intern as well. Now we will have three
internees for our Karachi office.” Here comes the success. Had I given
up earlier, I would have missed the opportunity.
This internship was a great experience. I met some really good
professionals there and experienced a professional working
environment. Later on I decided to work for the same company after
graduation. Again, this is an example of choosing rather than relying on
fate. And I was successful in getting a position there after the completion
of my undergrads degree.
Another example of trying and not giving up was for a gold medal that is
awarded annually by a multinational company. Although it seemed clear
from the selection process that I would not get it. Even then I didn’t give
up and did my best to get it.
- 49 -
The process was quite simple. Every university in the list (issued by the
multinational) had to nominate the top two engineering students of the
batch, one from electrical department and the other from electronics
department. I was nominated from the electrical department due to the
highest cumulative percentage in four years. Another guy was nominated
from the electronics department for the same reason. The graduate who
had higher percentage between the two was supposed to get the gold
medal. I knew from the selection criteria that my marks were slightly
lesser than the electronics graduate but I was not ready to give up. I got
the email address of the contact person for this award and wrote him the
This is with reference to your undersigned letter to
the NED University, Karachi regarding the nomination for "Gold Medals"
that your company institutes for the outstanding performers in the field of
Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Engineering Universities
of Pakistan. I am one of the two nominations NED has sent to you.
Through this letter I would like to appreciate the idea of conferring this
award which acknowledges the remarkable achievement of an individual.
The award is of great worth to me. Your company is an ardent supporter
of university education in Pakistan as it offers scholarships as well as
award gold medals to the best engineering students. It is a market leader
being operational across the globe and is included in Fortune 500
companies. The award by such an organization for the achievement of
an individual is highly ranked. For an individual, this award is source of
- 50 -
great distinction and honor. It is my dream to embellish my achievements
by the honor of Gold Medal awarded by your company.
In addition to this, I would like to make a suggestion that would further
enhance the worth of this prestigious award. According to the
programme, one of the two nominees would receive this award. The
selection is exclusively based on the marks obtained/ percentage. Since
the comparison is between two different faculties i.e. electrical and
electronics, the judging criterion should be on the same base. But solely
in terms of marks, the comparison is on an unequal base. There are
various subjects exclusively taught in the Electrical Dept., in which it is
difficult to score. The subjects alternately taught in Electronics Dept. are
high scoring. In a nut shell, there is always a difference in the marks
between these two departments in NED University. As a result, the
graduate of electrical engineering would never be selected for the
subject award. An example of this is the last year selection, in which the
award was conferred to the graduate of electronics department.
In light of the above discussion, I would request you to make a realistic
selection criterion, which may include other qualities of the graduate like
previous academic results, technical paper writing/presentation, extra-
curricular activities, sports, and other achievements as well. This would
not only make the selection process more challenging but it would also
portray an unbiased judiciary. Moreover, it will help in endowment of
Gold Medals to those who can demonstrate their other potentials besides
maximum marks obtained in the graduation. Alternately, both the
graduates from each university could be presented the medal as an
approbation and recognition to their brilliant achievement.
- 51 -
I hope that my letter is well understood and is not taken as a negative
note. In no way does my letter reflect a pessimistic impression of the
award. If you need any clarification please feel free to contact me at my
cell number or through email address. I am looking forward to hearing
from you in this regard.
Abdus Samad H. Siddiqui
In response to the email above, I received a phone call from that person.
He said that the selection process would remain the same as they have
already announced it for that year. If they changed it then it would be
unfair to the graduate of electronics department. I agreed with him but
requested him to amend the selection criteria in future. With the current
selection criteria, the electrical graduates could not get this award due to
lesser marks for the last couple of years. He showed a positive sign for
revising it for next round of selection. My effort resulted in a success as
he agreed to consider my point for future gold medal award. Other
electrical graduates would be benefited due to my effort.
Cows don’t give milk, it has to be extracted, drop-by-drop. Success
comes to those who try and create opportunity rather than waiting for an
If you notice children, you will observe that they implement never give up
approach at its best. They keep on crying till they get what they want. For
them, crying is the effort as they are not old enough to put in other kinds
- 52 -
of efforts. Be like a child when it comes to implementing ‘never give up’
Everything is okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end
and one should not give up before it’s the end.
Did you achieve anything in second attempt?
How many attempts at maximum have you made for achieving a
goal / dream / objective / task? What was the outcome?
- 53 -
Game without Ball
Have you seen a football match? I guess you have. But you wouldn’t
have analyzed it the way I will. In a football match, there are 11 players
at each side. Thus total 22 players play the match. The match is of 90
minutes, comprising of two halves of 45 minutes each. If you apply
mathematics to the match, you will come to know that on average a
player gets ball for only 4 minutes per match. This means that each
player is without ball for 86 minutes during the entire match. Since a
player is without ball most of the time in a football match, the behavior of
the player without ball is more important than how he behaves with the
ball. This is “Game without ball” principle. Before this analysis, you might
be thinking that the player is with the ball most of the time, but that is not
Now consider this principle in a normal person’s life. Every person gets
24 hours a day, no one gets more, no one gets less. If we exclude 8
hours of sleeping, then 16 hours are left in a day. These 16 hours are at
his disposal, he can use them as he likes. If he is a student, his routine
would be to leave for school / college at 0700 hrs and come back home
by 1400 hrs. How much time is he left with now? It’s simple to calculate.
Since he has utilized at maximum 7 hrs for schooling out of available 16
- 54 -
hours, he is left with 9 hours. This is the largest chunk of the day
available to him in comparison to 8 hours for sleeping and 7 hours for
schooling. Therefore, it is very important how he spends this time.
Now consider a university going student. An average student leaves for
university from his home at around 0800 hrs and comes back home at
around 1600hrs. How many hours does this make? 8 hours! The
remaining 8 hours are there to be utilized in a day. This student has
three equal segments of 8 hours.
Let’s consider the life of a working person. The office timings are usually
9 to 5. That’s 8 hours. Let’s add 1 hour for traveling. That means 9 hours.
Now one is left with 7 hours of spare time.
What all these people do in the spare time? We usually think that the
time other than sleeping and school / office is negligible, but in reality it is
not and has been proved that it is a very big segment of a day. This is
not 10 percent of a day. You can see yourself that this segment is pretty
large. In case of a school going student, it’s 37.5 per cent of a day. In
case of a university going student, it’s 33.33 per cent and for an
employed person it’s 29.2 per cent. I have compiled this book in this 29.2
per cent of time that I had per day.
Now let’s shed some light on what we do in this “Game without Ball”
segment. During my interactions with students during viva and job
recruiting interviews, I have found that most of these youngsters don’t do
anything useful in their spare time. Some do utilize this segment. Most of
them said that they don’t have spare time after studies. Are they studying
- 55 -
all the 8 hours at home? Certainly not! Although some spare time in a
day should be specifically reserved for recreational activities but you
cannot justify that you watch movies or surf facebook during the entire
recreational segment. Recreation could also be something worthy. I have
also been logging into facebook a lot, but that was a supplemental
activity as I was writing this book on my notebook and was connected to
internet all the time, but facebook was not my primary activity.
Why not make most of “Game without Ball” timeslot?
There are several reasons why people don’t attempt anything useful in
Firstly, we don’t have a culture of going an extra mile. We are satisfied
with what we are assigned. One of the reasons is that we don’t have a
goal, already covered in the earlier chapter. We don’t accept things
unless things are imposed on us. We see schools as jails. We go to
office with our faces down. You must develop passion for going an extra
Secondly, a lot of people don’t do something good enough as they are
quite concerned about making mistakes. Making mistakes while
attempting a positive task is better than doing nothing and wasting your
“To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the
biggest mistake of all.”
- Peter McWilliams
- 56 -
You know well that all the human beings are eating the food that is
produced in this world. If a person is eating the resource of this world
and is doing nothing then this person is a burden on this planet. We want
productive people. Sitting idle and attempting to do something even if
you commit mistakes is commendable. Remember nobody is perfect and
being human, we have a tendency of making mistakes.
I have done several mistakes in my life and have learnt lessons from
them. My life has improved due to those experiences. You should also
try, no matter how many mistakes you make. It’s the attempt and passion
that counts, not the mistakes. At the end of the day, we all have a list of
accomplishments, not a list of mistakes.
What can you do in “Game without Ball” timeslot?
You can do a lot of activities in this useful timeslot. Some of them are as
Books are a man’s best friend. So you can read books on the topics that
interest you. The selection should not be limited to the course topics.
Remember, this is a “Game without Ball” timeslot, so choose the topics
that interest you, ranging from novels to poetries and biographies to
discoveries. Picking a good magazine or newspaper is also an option.
Reading enhances the imagination power. You can dream better, after
reading books. Books on motivational topic or self-improvement can
really change your life. Try it and see for yourself.
You can also do something creative, like painting, writing, gardening,
composing music, poetry and so on. Each of these activities will not only
- 57 -
provide recreation, but will also help you get some credit. Why wouldn’t
anyone praise you after seeing a good painting that has been done by
you? Why wouldn’t you get reward for planting a tree that will produce
some fresh oxygen and reduce pollution?
You can enhance your skill set. If you are good at mathematics, you can
do some challenging assignment on it. If you are good at painting, you
can paint much better paintings than what you already have. If you are
an author, you can write even more and you can improve your writing
You can socialize and network in game without ball timeslot. This
socializing and networking shouldn’t be limited to social networking sites.
Meet people face to face. It’s entirely different when you talk to a person
face to face. A friend’s company is better in the real world than on the
Going out with friends or family is a recreational activity on one hand,
while it’s good for enhancing the affection in the relationship on the other
hand. You can go out to a peaceful place such as a park or seashore or
for tracking, long drive or dinner etc. You can also go to places where
you can learn something useful such as museums, art galleries,
exhibitions, theaters etc.
A sound mind in the sound body is an old adage. You can do physical
exercise like jogging, cycling etc in the game without ball timeslot and
keep yourself healthy.
- 58 -
Helping others is also what you can do. Help your mom, dad, siblings,
friends and relatives. Iqbal couplet in this regard is
“Hein log wahe jahan mein ache,
Aate hein jo kaam dosroon kay”
(Translation: Good people help others)
The above mentioned activities are just a guideline. There are so many
other useful things that one can do. Last but not the least, you can keep
on giving yourself challenging tasks in this time slot, which can make you
improve your skills and go an extra mile. I prepared training materials in
this slot and delivered it in Learning Extravaganza event, which helped
me in improving my presentation skills and I also got to know what it
feels like to be a trainer.
List down 10 things that you do in your “Game without Ball” time
slot. Are these activities effective?
Analyze what you could do in this time slot to enhance your
productivity and skills?
Do you help people or like to be assisted?
- 59 -
Disability is Lack of an
The orthodox definition of disability is the lack of a body part or an organ.
But from the point of view of a successful person, disability is not the lack
of body part, its lack of an ability. It could be the ability to grow, to try
again and again, to deliver, to produce significant results and so on. “Yes
I can” is also an ability that enables you to achieve your goals and
If you really believe in the orthodox definition of disability, then to change
your paradigm, one of the most prominent examples is of Nick Vujicic,
who was born in Australia in 1982 without limbs and legs. Can you
imagine him doing anything in life if you consider him on the basis of
orthodox definition of disability? But he went ahead and achieved more
glory and success than those who are privileged to have a healthy body.
I personally admire him a lot and he is a great source of inspiration to
me. There are several people in the world I want to meet in my life and
Nick is one of them.
- 60 -
This inspiration is from the first time I saw his video on youtube. In that
particular video, he demonstrated the principle of trying again and again
till one succeeds. I cannot forget him saying ‘I will try 100 times to get up
and if I fail 100 times, if I fail and I give up, do you think I am ever gonna
get up? No! But if I fail and try again and again but I just want you to
know that it’s not the end. It matters how you gonna finish. Are you
gonna finish strong? You will find the strength to get back up.’
Nick can do tremendous tasks even without hands and feet such as he
can type on a computer, throw tennis balls, play drum pedals, comb his
hair, brush his teeth, answer the phone, shave and get himself a glass of
water. Do you think it’s impossible? Just google Nick Vujicic and see the
Nick graduated with a double major in Accounting and Financial
Planning. At the time of graduation, he was 21 years old. How many
people with no disability get a double major or formal education till
graduation? Nick has strong faith in ‘Nothing is Impossible’ principle and
that has been his driving force.
He has travelled to four continents and has spoken to millions of people.
How many people have traveled to four continents? Surely you will not
find many. I have not traveled to even two continents and I am only three
years younger than Nick. If you would like to see his inspirational videos
and read about him, please check www.lifewithoutlimbs.org.
The discussion of Nick Vujicic has indeed changed your paradigm and
now an orthodox definition of disability is not valid for you. Look for your
nts and a
at is you
k the one
s I can”.
ne of us i
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n this list,
ave one. I
, as this l
If you don
- 61 -
ll surely p
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list is only
n’t have i
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it, as per
of a cata
will help y
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s not poss
ent is not
- 62 -
is what my definition of disability is. Even if you have one and you are not
using it, it is also a type of disability.
Go ahead and discover your hidden talents.
Identify your natural talent.
Are you using your natural talent? If yes, how and when? If not,
then why are you not using it?
Do you need to polish your talent?
- 63 -
Thank you for choosing to bring improvement in your life. After reading
this book, you must have fueled your passion of ‘Yes I Can’. Try to
implement, what you have read, in your life and see the results.
Whatever you do, the power of prayer cannot be put aside. The first thing
that I do in the morning is thanking Allah for giving me another day in life
and then praying. Just say a single minute prayer in the morning
regarding whatever you want to achieve that day. Allah will be with you.
A minute out of 1440 minutes (24 hours x 60 minutes) is not at all a
significant time. But this one minute can change the outcome of your
Never underestimate your potentials. Abraham Lincoln said:
‘No man is good enough to be president,
but someone has to be.’
You can become a president or can get yourself to any position and
designation. Kick the ‘t’ out of can’t. Start your journey towards success.
In the end of this book, I would like to share a story adapted from ‘The
Star Thrower’ by Loren Eiseley. This story has an amazing moral and
would motivate the reader to bring positive change in the lives of others.
You should think about other people on this planet. Help others and
make this world a better place to live in.
- 64 -
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to
do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach
and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at
the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked
faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and
that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was
reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them
into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is
that you are doing?"
The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into
"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked
the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If
I don't throw them in, they'll die."
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you
- 65 -
not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish
all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and
threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "I made a difference
to that one!"
I hope this book has created some difference in your life.
- 66 -
About the Author
Abdus Samad H. Siddiqui is an author, poet, motivational speaker and a
trainer. His articles / blogs are published in leading newspapers of
Pakistan such as Dawn and Express Tribune. All these published
material is available at http://abdussamadhussain.wordpress.com/
Abdus Samad completed his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering
from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi securing
First position and was awarded Gold medal for this achievement. He is
currently enrolled in Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program
at Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi and has been
mentioned in Dean’s list of distinguished students due to his
extraordinary result. He is working in a multinational company as
He is working to bridge the gap between academia and industry. In this
regard, he has played the role of an effective alumnus and is working as
External Examiner at NED University, arranging industrial visits of faculty
members and students and providing counseling to students.
He has presented two technical papers in national level conferences and
was awarded several awards for engineering projects. Abdus Samad
also conducts training programs on technical and management topics
including motivational program on ‘Yes I Can’.
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