Yes I Can


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Yes I Can

  1. 1. YES I CAN Success is a Choice You can succeed, if you believe you can Abdus Samad H. Siddiqui
  2. 2. In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful Dedicated to My Parents
  3. 3. - v - Acknowledgements 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 helpful. 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
  4. 4. - vi - 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 Khalid. 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.
  5. 5. - vii - 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.
  6. 6. - ix - Contents Foreword..................................................................................................xi 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 Final Words.............................................................................................63 About the Author.....................................................................................66
  7. 7. - xi - Foreword 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?”
  8. 8. - xii - 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 I try to reply all my emails within 24 hours. Let the journey to betterment begin. Abdus Samad H. Siddiqui Karachi, Pakistan February 29, 2012
  9. 9. - xiii - Why You Should Read This Book? 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!
  10. 10. - xiv - 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.
  11. 11. - 1 - ‘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.
  12. 12. - 2 - 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.” - Anonymous 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 Nothing
  13. 13. - 3 - 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
  14. 14. - 4 - ‘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 21st 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 approach. 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
  15. 15. - 5 - 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
  16. 16. - 6 - bank account. Success has nothing to do with your bank account statement. 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 flow. What do you get when you succeed? When you succeed, no matter how small your goal was, you achieve the following along with success: Self satisfaction Confidence in yourself Happiness Another reason to thank Allah
  17. 17. - 7 - Exercises: 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.
  18. 18. - 8 - Strengthen Your ‘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
  19. 19. - 9 - 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.
  20. 20. - 10 - Let’s start the journey towards success. These eight principles and elements are fuel for your ‘Yes I Can’ passion.
  21. 21. - 11 - 1 Know Yourself “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.” - Socrates 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 so on.
  22. 22. - 12 - 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 personality. 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
  23. 23. - 13 - 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 changed.
  24. 24. - 14 - 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 yourself. 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
  25. 25. - 15 - 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
  26. 26. - 16 - 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
  27. 27. - 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 matter. ‘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)
  28. 28. - 18 - Exercises: 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).
  29. 29. - 19 - 2 Crush the Enemy Called Fear 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 your life. 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.
  30. 30. - 20 - 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 up trying. “Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.” - Napoleon Hill
  31. 31. - 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.”
  32. 32. - 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 look for. “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
  33. 33. - 23 - take the first step, this book would have been in a shelf at my bedroom in a draft. “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. Exercises: 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).
  34. 34. - 24 - 3 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.”
  35. 35. - 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
  36. 36. - 26 - 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 my target. 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.
  37. 37. - 27 - “Anything you can imagine is real” – Picasso 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 Exercises: 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 thoughts?
  38. 38. - 28 - 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?
  39. 39. - 29 - 4 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, completely unused!” - 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.
  40. 40. - 30 - 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 count. 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
  41. 41. - 31 - 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.
  42. 42. - 32 - 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 future editions. 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 needed. 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
  43. 43. - 33 - 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? Certainly not! 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.
  44. 44. - 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 who think. 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 Reflect! [16:44] 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
  45. 45. - 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 thought process. 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
  46. 46. - 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. Exercises: Which is the best decision you have taken in your life? What does your mind mostly think about? Do you dream?
  47. 47. - 37 - 5 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
  48. 48. - 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
  49. 49. - 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 end. 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.
  50. 50. - 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 Report Writing 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 it tomorrow.
  51. 51. - 41 - Proactive People Reactive People Assignment Submission 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
  52. 52. - 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 following: 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!
  53. 53. - 43 - Exercises: 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?
  54. 54. - 44 - 6 ‘Never Give Up’ Approach “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” - Confucius 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 approach? 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?
  55. 55. - 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.
  56. 56. - 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
  57. 57. - 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
  58. 58. - 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.
  59. 59. - 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 following email: Dear Sir, 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
  60. 60. - 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.
  61. 61. - 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. Regards, 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 opportunity. 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
  62. 62. - 52 - of efforts. Be like a child when it comes to implementing ‘never give up’ approach. 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. Exercises: 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?
  63. 63. - 53 - 7 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 true. 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
  64. 64. - 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
  65. 65. - 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 this slot. 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 mile. 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 time. “To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all.” - Peter McWilliams
  66. 66. - 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 follows: 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
  67. 67. - 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 skills. 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 virtual world. 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.
  68. 68. - 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. Exercises: 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?
  69. 69. - 59 - 8 Disability is Lack of an Ability 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 success. 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.
  70. 70. - 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 results. 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 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
  71. 71. tale pas “ Wha Iden goa Pick men you nts and a sion “Yes “Everyon Ever at is you ntify your als. Some k the one ntioned in don’t ha abilities. T s I can”. ne of us i ryone mu ur Natura r natural e of the na e that is y n this list, ave one. I These wi is endow ust devel and al Talent? talent a atural tale your natu , as this l If you don - 61 - ll surely p wed with lop conf d use it p ? and polish ents are ural talent list is only n’t have i - play role at least idence to proudly.” h it. It w mentione t. Maybe y an exam it, as per of a cata one God o cherish ” - C will help y ed as follo , your na mple. It’s your per alyst in ign d-given t h that gif Camille L you achie ows: atural tale s not poss rception, niting the talent. ft Lavington eve your ent is not sible that then this e n r t t s
  72. 72. - 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. Exercises: 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?
  73. 73. - 63 - Final Words 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 day. 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.
  74. 74. - 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 his work. 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 the ocean." "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
  75. 75. - 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.
  76. 76. - 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 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 Assistant Manager. 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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