Did You Bring Their Gift?



I have read & heard this several times and it made so much sense to me that I became an ardent fan of the practice. And simply love it!!

The first time was when I heard Deepak Chopra mention this in one of his talks. Then I read Chade-Meng Tan’s “Search Inside Yourself” and he explained the age old technique in detail. But I don’t want to bore you with the specifics…

It is a very simple thing that you can do whenever you think about, meet or visit someone’s house.

You need to bring her a present.

I know, I know. The economy is not doing so well!


– It is not very expensive.

– It is something which you already have.

– Spending it won’t deprive you of it.

– It may help you become happier.

– And will surely make the host/your friend happy.

The gift is of a Prayer:

Before you enter anyone’s house, quietly say a prayer.  Wishing her well.

Wish her family more health, love & happiness.

If you know there is a particular challenge the person is facing, just pray that she gets over the challenge soon.

No need to tell the person about it. That is the beauty of it. You are giving without anyone knowing.

Before you begin practicing this simple act of kindness, think about the people in your life. Who wants what in her life and begin by just blessing them. Pray for what they need. Right from the comfort of your house/office or even a restaurant or a coffee shop. How would you feel?


Stop here for a minute. P L E A S E !!!

And see if it really works…


Close your eyes first.

Take a deep breath.

Slowly count to 5.

Now, think of ONE person. Anyone. And bless him/her. Earnestly. From the bottom of your heart.

Thats it! 

Now you can open your eyes.

How do you feel?



Whenever you meet someone, friend & foe alike (Yes, you read it right!! Foe, as in enemy!!), bless him. Simple pray that he is blessed. I know it is difficult when thinking about someone who has – or wants to – hurt you. But trust me, this is the best way to get even!

Let them hate you, while you bless them.

I know its easier said than done. But, if I can do it, so can you!!

Don’t you think this is a better way to be happy?


Stay blessed.


Picture courtesy: Spring.me

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Love & Respect: Does It Really Help?


I was pleasantly surprised when a gentleman that I have known for ages got up to shake hands with me. I kept saying ,”Its alright… Please keep sitting…”. He was sitting at a table with 9 other people & it was awkward for him to stand & shake hands with me. But he did, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Then he said, “I have never greeted anyone sitting down.”

That got me thinking. Why a respectable gentleman – and I am proud to take his name here, Vice Admiral Muhammed Shafi HI (M) – would want to stand up & greet everyone that he meets. That would also mean (no, actually mean!)- standing up to greet people who are below him in stature or age etc. Because you would get up and greet people who are above you any way. Right?

If we think harder, a small gesture could change a lot – and for the better. Although I don’t think its a small gesture at all. Generally, the reason is that we Edge God Out (E G O!) from our lives and think of ourselves as superior beings, especially when we are blessed with a decent position, wealth or power.

Our ego makes us think:

– I am superior so why should I stand up? He should be the one who should!

–  Now I am in a superior position than her, now I will teach her a lesson!

–  He never greets me standing up, why should I bother?

– It won’t help my ‘image’ if I went to her & said hello.

– What will they think of me if they saw me smiling & greeting someone who is far below….

– Now he has to come to me & say hello because of where I am & he doesn’t have a choice!

It could sometime also mean sitting at one place and not roaming around because you want the other person has to come & greet you rather than vice versa.

Petty stuff that we all could live without. Life is too short & beautiful for these petty things to think about.

Bottom line: Our ego makes us feel that we rule the world & giving respect to people would make us look (or feel) inferior.

In fact, the opposite is true.

Lets talk about you.

If YOU meet someone who has airs about him (her!!)  & who doesn’t greet you properly. Would you do something – anything – for him smilingly? Or with all your heart?

We have all watched hidden videos of badly treated waiters and how they grudgingly added ‘stuff’ to the food before serving them.

Isn’t that proof enough?

Or, for that matter, how YOU behaved behind someone’s back when they ‘forgot’ or ‘didn’t see you’ or deliberately ignored you?

Now, turn it around & think of yourself as always being nice – genuinely – or extra nice to people below you or people who you know could hardly help you in any way besides the work that they do for you. Do you think it will hurt you, your reputation or your relationship with them if you were a little kinder to them? A little warmer? A little less ‘bossy’?

Your relationship with that person can go only one way: UP. There will be more love & respect & the person will do whatever they do for you in a more cheerful, if not improved/profitable way. And imagine the free publicity you get when the person talks highly about you in front of your bosses, clients, friends or people who earlier thought negatively about you…

Now, lets look at at it from an entirely selfish perspective. And this quote says it all:

“Be nice to those you meet on the way up because you will need them on the way down!”

Do I need to say more about this one?

Think about the worst-case scenario if you begin respecting people below you. And see if you can handle that?

Usually things are in our minds & not real. Most of our fears are in our minds.

Get them out of your mind & live like a true human being.

We have life stories of all the leaders that have lived before us. Everyone perished. Only a few left a legacy. What would you want people to say about you when you are no more? (There’s a post on legacy that I wrote some time back. Check it out)

I am sure you must have come across these beautiful words. It couldn’t have been said more beautifully:

These are called

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable,
and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will
accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you
will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will
be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make
you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank

The biggest men and women
with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the
smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but
follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few
underdogs anyway.

What you spend years
building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but
may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you
have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the
best you have anyway.
A request from my side: Love them anyways.
Believe me, you won’t regret it.
Love you, always.
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Daily Kindness 3


This is yet another daily kindness that I experienced in Karachi a couple of months back.

I had given my wife’s car for a paint job to a very old workshop called Yazdani Motors. Some of you may have heard the name. Its very old and is owned & successfully managed by Mr. Naushir Irani.

No, this is not an advertisement! And I have not been paid for saying all of the above!

The reason for the background will be evident as you read further.

When I entered the workshop and saw the finished car and how it was transformed to an almost brand-new-looking one, I was delighted.

So, when Mr Irani came in, I hugged him and said:

‘You made my day, sir! God bless you!’

He smiled and you could see that he was happy for being complimented. He was actually beaming, cheek to cheek.

Painting a car is like an art form to him. And being flattered and praised for something you love doing certainly makes you feel like you are on top of the world.

Btw, I didnt do anything extraordinary, but something that anyone would do in my situation.


The real story begins now:

When I praised his work, and hugged him, his eyes were shining. Which I couldn’t understand. He must be getting compliments like that every day from all over.

Only when he narrated an incident that happened with him in the very workshop that I understood why he felt differently.


Hope we could all learn from this:

Mr Irani must have done another one of his exquisite paint jobs on another car. A more expensive one for sure.

The guy who was taking the delivery of the car thanked Mr Irani and said:

“Thanks, Mr. Irani. Good work.” and began to sit in his newly painted car. However, there was another gentleman with him, a dear friend probably, who said:

“To kya hua, paisey bhi to liye hai uss ney.”

(“So what. This guy charged you for the work!”)

Since Mr Irani was standing right there, he heard it and kept quiet. But was deeply hurt.

Now, I am not saying that one should praise every shopkeeper, grocer, dhobi, cook, barber that you do business with every day. But, if you really feel that the guy has done good work, praise him/her. Make his day. It wont cost you a thing, yet you would have made his day. And… he will always remember and probably pray for you.

Mr. Irani remembered the guy. But, in a different way.

Imagine, someone meeting 15-20 people every day, but vividly remembers the person who instead of saying something good about great work, said something entirely different. No one can forget this. I am sure you have gone through similar situations where people have hurt you without reason. It hurts. But one eventually forgets.

Waqt guzar jata hai par baat reh jaati hai.

In todays day and age, when there are enough bad things happening around us, isn’t it better that at least WE ensure that nothing bad happens by us, through us? And if possible, do good?


“Be kind whenever you possible. It is always possible.” Buddha


God bless you, always.


Picture courtesy: http://imageshack.us

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The Gratitude Visit

I just finished Daniel Pink’s outstanding book “A Whole New Mind”. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who plans to succeed in the ‘Age of Perception’. It was an eye opener for me and I am sure it will be of immense value to you as well. I will not go into the details of the book, you can find more about it here.

What I AM going to talk about is an exercise that he mentioned in the book which is called ‘The Gratitude Visit’.
This means that every once in a while – it could be every day/week/month – you write a letter to someone who you feel like thanking and never gotten around to it. Explain as to why you need to thank, what for and how it helped you etc.
Once the letter is written, then you go to the person and read it aloud to her/him. However, in today’s day and age, I’d suggest even if we could just email or read it aloud on the phone, it could do wonders for both the ‘thanked’ and the ‘thankful’.

Imagine, someone coming to you and thanking YOU for something that you did ages ago. How would you feel?
Happy? Elated? Top-of-the-world? You bet!

This concept has been advocated by Professor Martin Seligman , an authority on ‘Happiness’ (I know it sounds weird, but click on his name and you will know) who urges everyone to do this on a regular basis TO BE HAPPY! Yes, if you thank someone, it makes YOU happy as well.

Think about this and start writing the names of the people who you’d thank NOW, before its TOO LATE!

Imagine, if everyone started thanking someone and in turn that person thanking someone else, how happy we’d all be!

One who is grateful, is always happy.

If you want to be happy? Thank someone and be happy NOW! Instant happiness!

Happiness is a state of mind.

Nuruddin Abjani

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