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What we’ve got wrong about wealth

One day, a wealthy man took his young daughter to a small remote village to experience what it felt like to be poor and so that she could learn to give back. They spent a couple of days and nights at the farm, living with what he considered to be a poor family and tried to help them in any way possible.

On the return trip, the father asked his daughter,

” How did you find our trip?

“What did you learn?”

She replied,

“It was great! I learned so much.”

He said,

“Did you see how the poor people live and have to go through their lives?”

She said,

“Yes, I did.”

The father asked his daughter,

” What did you learn from our trip? Please share that with me.”

She said,

“I saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches the middle of our garden, and they have a lake that reaches no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden that lights it up. They have the stars. The view from our window, you can see over a few buildings. From theirs, you can see the whole sunset. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls to protect us from the outside. They have friends and community to protect them.”

The father was speechless. And then his daughter said,

“Thank you, Dad, for showing me how poor we really are.

Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing?

Often we feel that we’re helping and uplifting others. But in that process, we realize we’re the ones who’ve gained the most.

Often when we’re trying to serve with compassion and empathy, we realize that we’re the ones that are truly benefiting and growing.

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Jangan korek lubang telinga

Mengorek telinga sememangnya ‘enak’ seketika 🚀 tapi kesannya boleh membuatkan kita menderita selamanya. 😭😭

✖Jangan korek lubang telinga
✔ tapi bersihlah cuping telinga tu.

inflamed hear.jpg

Ada seorang pesakit datang semalam dan bertanya, memang perlukah kalau telinga gatal itu tak payah nak dikorek dan dibersihkan? Dibiar sahaja ke?

Beliau bertanya selepas saya periksa salur telinganya yang sudah membengkak, sudah ada kesan luka dan gegendang telinganya pun habis dipenuhi jangkitan. Semua ini berlaku akibat tindakan beliau yang berterusan mengorek menggunakan besi. Sedap katanya, legaaa…

Tetapi, semakin lama ianya tidak berhenti gatalnya, bahkan kini menjadi sakit. Sakit yang teramat sangat!

Oleh itu, nasihat saya. Apabila anda alami kegatalan atau ada sebarang masalah pada telinga anda, jangan terus mengorek untuk hilangkan gatal tersebut. Banyak keburukan boleh berlaku. Ya, memang rasa lega pada mulanya, tapi fikirkan keburukan masa panjangnya.

Keradangan dan jangkitan pada salur telinga telah berlaku kepada psakit saya. ‘Otitis externa’ ini jika lewat dirawat, amat sukar untuk sembuh. Lebih bahaya jika pesakit ada penyakit kencing manis.


KONGSI kepada orang anda sayang. Moga perkongsian kali ini memberi manfaat berguna buat kita yang masih belum tahu.


  1. Dr Ezairy M.Sallih
  2. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia


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Designing My Very Own Financial Road-map

First, I would need to carefully consider these 3 things:

  1. What is my financial goals?
  2. When do I plan to achieve these goals?
  3. How do I plan to do it?
  4. What is my current wealth level? (Will elaborate further in future post)

In order to better understand this idea, we need an example, and some sets of assumptions. Here is the assumptions:

  • Like any road-maps, there’s a end of the line, in this case, the end of the line is the end of my life, since we can’t predict the future, just assume it is around 75 years old.
  • Current age of 19 years old (the younger you start, the better)
Age Financial Goals (FG) FG value
19 (current age)
25 Getting married RM 25,000.00
30 Buy a car RM 30,000.00
35 Buy a house RM 100,000.00
40 Children education fund RM 60,000.00
55 (retirement) Retired RM 1,000,000.00
75 Preparation for death ?

19 Y.O to 25 Y.O (Preparing to get married)

[6 years timeline]

You estimate for the marriage ceremony cost to be around RM 25,000.00

(1) You could save the needed money using the normal practice (the hard way)

RM 25, 000 / (12*6) = RM 347.23 per month for every month for 6 years , minimum to get RM 25,000.00

(2) You could try to find an investment instrument which yield at least 10% per annum (p.a)

Note: Initially, I plan to share the formula to calculate these, but then, nobody got time for manual calculation nowadays. I suggest you to download any financial calculator apps to calculate the compounded amount for you. Easier and much more accurate.

In order to get a minimum of RM 25,000.00 in 6 years, you would need to save a minimum of RM 255 per month for 6 years.

Monthly deposit : RM 255 per month for 6 years.

Annual return : 10% p.a

Investment period : 6 years or 72 months

Total money + profit earned after 6 years:  RM 25, 226.87

Further saving on monthly saving commitment of RM 92.23 ( RM 347.23 – RM 255)

So, using this kind of investment instrument, you end up saving more money with less. Well, the question is, what investment instrument would allow you to earn 10% p.a.

Honestly, I don’t know yet. Maybe I would have the answer if and when I decided to give unit trust consulting a try. Until then, do the research yourself.

(3) If the option is only find an investment instrument which yield at least 6% per annum (p.a)

Monthly deposit : RM 255 per month for 6 years.

Annual return : 6% p.a

Investment period : 6 years or 72 months

Total money + profit earned after 6 years:  RM 22, 144.43

Further saving on monthly saving commitment of RM 92.23 ( RM 347.23 – RM 255)

You might not get the RM 25K, but it will be close.

For Malaysia, I would suggest to maximize their ASB 1 & ASB 2. It secure and low risk.




40 Y.O to 55 Y.O (Retirement – RM 1,000,000.00)

[15 years timeline]

(1) You could save the needed money using the normal practice (the hard way)

RM 1,000, 000.00 / (12*15) = RM 5,555.56 per month for every month for 15 years , minimum to get RM 1,000,000.00 for retirement.

(2) You could try to find an investment instrument which yield at least 10% per annum (p.a)

In order to get a minimum of RM 1,000,000.00 in 15 years, you would need to save a minimum of RM 2,400.00  per month for 15 years.

Monthly deposit : RM 2, 400.00 per month for 15 years.

Annual return : 10% p.a

Investment period : 15 years or 180 months

Total money + profit earned after 15 years:  RM 1, 003,018.24 (RM 432,000.00 Principal + RM 571,018.24 profit).

Using this kind of instrument, you would have an excess of RM 3,155.56 to use for further investment or for fun, or better yet, for charity.

(3) If the option is only find an investment instrument which yield at least 6% per annum (p.a)

Monthly deposit : RM 2,400.00 per month for 15 years.

Annual return : 6% p.a

Investment period : 15 years or 180 months

Total money + profit earned after 15 years:  RM 701,454.73 ( RM 432,000.00 Principal + RM 269,454.73 Profit)

To get to the RM 1,000,000.00 mark, for 6% p.a. you need to save at least RM 3,500.00 per month for 15 years, which will amount to RM 1,022,954.82 (RM 630,000.00 Principal + RM 392,954.82 Profit)

Again for Malaysian, I would suggest to maximize their ASB 1 & ASB 2. It secure and low risk.

Sure, you noticed that, with an investment instrument, you would be able to save more by making sure that your money do the heavy lifting for you. But then, make sure that you save or invest in a legit investment scheme, not some get-rich-quick scheme.

When dealing with investment, I would rather stick to the golden advice I learnt from ‘The Richest Man in Babylon”, That is . . .

“Seek the counsel of knowledgeable experts before you invest. Never put the principal  that you invested in unseemly risk”

So for me, as I mentioned above, the 1/10th of all my earning would go to the safest low risk investment of my preferences, the extra, would go to moderate and high risk investment at a ratio which I predetermined.

And in preparing for death, I would suggest for wakaf and charity money.

So, let’s discuss on how to calculate our wealthiness in the next post (for finance categories that is).

Till then, good day to you all .


Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh



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Blessed Income and wealth

In the pursuit of worldly goods, at times we might been ‘forced’ to endure the things which destroyed the blessing in our earnings and wealth. Nowadays, large mansions, gorgeous cars, fashionable and luxurious lifestyles are usually regarded as the measuring stick of one’s success, rather than something which are less tangible such as happiness or peace of mind, which of course much more important. These pursuit of wealth regardless of  legality and moral compass is the reason why disgusting acts like corruption still exist, with the theme to ‘facilitate’ transaction is usually used.

police fun funny uniform
Photo by Pixabay on

Once I heard a lecture, where a retired uniformed officer asked the question, “Why are my children are some troublesome?”. After pondering the question, the teacher asked, “Did you ever taken a bribe?” The questioner admitted, “Yes, because my basic salary is too low.” So teacher responded, that the money was the reason that had destroyed his family.

Allah (SWT) said: ” And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property.. “(Al-Baqarah 2: 188)

There are various ways to earn a living, so, never resort to that which is immoral.

” O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: but let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good-will: nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to you Most Merciful. (29) If any (one) does that in rancour and injustice,― soon shall We cast him into the Fire: and easy it is for Allah. (30). “(An-Nisa, 4:29-30)

‘A thousand dinars ayat’ that are often displayed at Muslims restaurant are quoted from Surah At-Thalaq, verses 2-3.

“… . And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out (2) And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion. (3) …”

Our worldly life is only temporary which can be likened to as a passing traveler on the journey to an eternal destination. So, as a traveler, pat your chest, and ask the heart, how much treasure is to be gained in this world and how do you get it?

Just like the ‘Monopoly’ game, racing around the board to collect properties and lands, while trying to bancrupt our competitors. However, if we win, and the game ends, what happens? All the treasures that we have collected will be recalled, and put back into the box, which in turn will be chased by next group of people playing the same game!

From Abu Hurairah r.a., he said, Rasullullah SAW said:

“… a servant said, ‘My wealth My wealth! ‘But his real wealth is of three kinds:

  1. Which he consumes and runs out
  2. Which he wears and tears; and
  3. Which he gave away in charity then stored (for the hereafter). Apart from these three kinds disappeared or left behind for others.

* yeah, now maybe the ‘Monopoly’ game analogy might seem more palatable.

In Islamic financial planning, the core concept is Allah SWT is the absolute owner of all wealth while we humans are only a ‘trustee’, and the trustees will all be held accountable by the trust they bear. As a matter of fact, as a trustee, we can neither spend it too freely nor too stingily to give away in charity. Because in both situation, we surely be one to lose.

In our daily quest to earn our income, just remember that Allah SWT has already promised that, every soul living, has his sustenance already determined as long as he lives. Therefore, we need to work, and work hard at that, and trust in Allah for the best outcome.


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Pendapatan yang berkat

Dalam mengejar harta dunia, kadang-kala kita mungkin terlibat dengan perkara-perkara yang akan menjadikan pendapatan kita tidak diberkati. Rumah besar, kereta cantik, hidup bergaya dan bermewah-mewah seringkali menjadi kayu ukuran kejayaan sesorang. Oleh itu, tidak hairanlah kenapa rasuah masih wujud untuk ‘memudahkan’ urusniaga. Namun begitu, harus di ingat, si pemberi dan penerima akan menerima balasannya, kalau tidak di dunia, di akhirat, atau mungkin kedua-duanya.

police fun funny uniform
Photo by Pixabay on

Saya pernah mendengar satu ceramah, di mana, seorang bekas pegawai beruniform yang telah bersara mengajukan soalan, “Kenapa anak-anak saya tidak menjadi ‘manusia yang berguna’?”. Setelah merenungkan persoalan tersebut, ustaz tersebut bertanya, “adalah Tuan pernah mengambil rahsuah atau ‘wang bawah meja’?” Penanya tersebut mengaku, “Ya, kerana gaji pokoknya terlalu rendah.”. Maka Ustaz tersebut menjawap, bahawasanya, ‘wang bawah meja’ tersebutlah yang telah menghancurkan keluarganya.

Allah SWT berfirman: “Dan janganlah sebahagian kamu memakan harta (orang-orang yang diantara) kamu dengan (jalan) yang tidak betul, dan (janganlah) kamu bawa (urusan harta) itu kepada hakim-hakim dengan maksud kamu hendak memakan sebahagian daripada harta orang (lain) dengan (jalan) dosa, padahal kamu tahu.” (Al-baqarah 2:188)

Terdapat pelbagai cara untuk mendapatkan harta dan anda harus ingat, jangan sesekali menggunakan cara yang tidak dibenarkan dalam Islam ataupun yang tidak bermoral.

“Hai orang-orang yang beriman, janganlah kamu saling memakan harta sesamamu dengan jalan yang batil, kecuali dengan jalan perniagaan yang berlaku suka sama suka di antara kamu. Dan janganlah kamu membunuh dirimu, sesungguhnya Allah adalah Maha Penyayang kepadamu.” (An-Nisa, 4:29)

‘Ayat seribu dinar’ yang sering dipaparkan di kedai-kedai makan dipetik dari Surah At-Thalaq, ayat 2-3.

“…Sesiapa yang bertaqwa kepada Allah nescaya akan dibukakan jalan keluar baginya (daripada sebarang masalah) dan akan dikurniakan rezeki daripada sumber yang tidak diduganya …”

Hidup di dunia ini hanyalah sementara yang dapat diibaratkan musafir lalu menuju destinasi abadi. Jadi, sewajar musafir, tepuklah dada anda, dan tanyalah hati, berapa banyakkah harta yang perlu diraih di dunia ini dan bagaimanakah cara anda memperolehnya?

Ibarat permainan ‘Monopoly’, kita seringkali lalai kerana berlumba memusing papan untuk mengumpulkan harta, dan cuba mendapatkan lebih banyak dari pesaing-pesaing yang lain. Namun, jika kita menang, dan permainan tamat, apakah yang terjadi? Semua harta yang telah kita kumpulkan akan di ambil semula, dan dimasukkan kembali ke dalam kotak, yang akan menjadi rebutan pemain-pemain yang akan datang !

Daripada Abu Hurairah r.a., katanya, Rasullullah SAW bersabda:

“… seorang hamba berkata, ‘Hartaku ! Hartaku!’ padahal hartanya yang sesungguhnya tiga macam:

  1. Apa yang dimakannya lalu habis
  2. Apa yang dipakainya lalu lusuh; dan
  3. Apa yang disedekahkannya lalu tersimpan (untuk akhirat). Selain daripada tiga macam itu lenyap atau ditinggalkan bagi orang lain.
*ye, sekarang mungkin analogi permainan ‘Monopoly’ lebih masuk akal.

Dalam perancangan kewangan Islam, konsep terasnya adalah Allah SWT adalah merupakan Pemilik harta yang mutlak dan kita manusia hanyalah merupakan ‘pemegang amanah’, dan para pemegang amanah semuanya akan dipertanggungjawapkan oleh amanah yang dipikulnya. Oleh hal yang demikian, sebagai seorang pemegang amanah, kita tidak boleh membelanjakannya dengan sewenang-wenangnya mahupun terlalu kikir untuk bersedekah. Jangan boros serta jangan kikir.

Dalam usuha kita mencari pendapatan yang barakah ini terpulang pada diri kita sendiri. Allah SWT telah berjanji, setiap makhluk tidah akan hidup melata di bumi ini, melainkan setiap rezekinya telah ditentukan. Kita perlu berikhtiar lalu bertawakkal.


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Why Successful People Take Notes And How to Make It Your Habit

Below are from the original article from Lifehack by Mark Pettit , so good was the article that I would not add anything to it as of now. Just want to save it for future reference. Kudos to Mark Pettit.

I have always been an avid note taker. It has become a habit to carry my trusty moleskine and pen with me everywhere.

It helps me capture notes during client coaching sessions, write down inspiring headline I’ve seen, capture the insights from a seminar and becomes a place to write down ideas.

Taking notes helps me get things out of my mind and down on paper. It also inspires me to take action on the things I’ve written down.

These notes become my ‘creative reference point’ that I can take action from, refer back to, build ideas from and they help to improve my time management and increase my focus and productivity.

In this article, I’ll look into the importance of taking notes and how you can start to take notes, make it a habit and get closer to success.

Who are some successful note takers?

The art of note taking is a common habit among the world’s most successful people.

Taking notes can help you to organize your thoughts and record vital information in every area of your business and life.

Richard Branson believes everyone should be taking notes and carries a notebook with him everywhere. He credits note taking as one of his most important habits.[1]

“I go through dozens of notebooks every year and write down everything that occurs to me each day, an idea not written down is an idea lost. When inspiration calls, you’ve got to capture it.” – Richard Branson

Other highly successful note takers included:

  • Thomas Edison – During his life Thomas Edison captured over 5 million pages of notes. His note taking skills were developed to ensure that everything useful or important was captured and recorded so it could be referred back to as a powerful memory aid.
  • Bill Gates – According to many reports, Bill Gates is a big note taker and prefers to use a yellow notebook and pen to capture important information.
  • George Lucas – The Star Wars director kept a pocket notebook with him at all times for writing down ideas, thoughts and plot angles.
  • Tim Ferriss – Entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss’s devotion to handwritten notes allow him to remember the most important parts of his life. He is quotes as saying “I trust the weakest pen more than the strongest memory.”

Other notable note takers from past and present include Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Pablo Picasso, Sheryl Sandberg, J.K. Rowling, Bruce Springsteen and Aaron Sorkin.

Why taking notes is important

Taking notes is an essential part of success in business and life. It can help you improve how you listen, learn, visualize and create.

“The best leaders are note-takers, best askers” – Tom Peters

But for many, note taking is still not a common practice despite its many benefits.

There are several reasons why taking written notes is important:

  • Help you emphasize the key points and get them clear in your own mind.
  • Help you engage with the content at a deeper level in a meeting, lecture or event and not lose concentration.
  • Help you to make links between related thoughts and ideas.
  • Allow you illustrate your notes to suit your personal style and help recall information.
  • Help you summarize information.
  • Let you make notes of anything you want to understand further or go deeper on at a future date.
  • Help you capture simple thoughts or ideas that could be lost.

Think about it:

Are you really going to remember everything? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to simply write down what you’re hearing, learning and thinking?

The habit of note taking can be developed and has a huge upside.

Now, there are many apps that can be used for note-taking from Evernote to OneNote and many more. But the most successful people I’ve mentioned above also had another thing in common:

They used a pen or pencil and paper to write down their notes.

I, as mentioned earlier, prefer the pen and notebook method as it feels like the notes mean more, being written down. I follow a similar method when reading, even on my kindle.

I may bookmark the page but will write down key points or ideas I’ve taken from the book.

12 Benefits of note-taking

The benefits of note-taking include:

  1. Free you up from information overload

We have so many things going through our mind at any one time that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

So, write down all of your ideas, thoughts, frustrations, to do lists until they are all out of your mind and written down.

You can then spend some time putting the notes in some kind of order and deciding which thing or project will get your attention.

  1. Make you a better listener

When you engage in listening, whether in a meeting, at a seminar or meeting friends, your brain is tuned to record and remember things.

Rather than the information be something that you hope to retain in your minds “I need to remember that”, you can make notes and continue to listen.

Rather than trying to remember what you’ve heard, you can make a quick note and carry on listening.

  1. Make things feel more real

Something almost magical happens when I take notes. The words take on a new power and it helps me ensure that I take action as my brain is fully engaged.

Taking notes for the sake of taking notes isn’t really going to help you. Turning the notes into actionable ideas is what really matters.

  1. Tune your mind ito capture important information

When note-taking begins to become a habit, it will start to feel natural to make notes during meetings, networking events, seminars and workshops etc.

A simple note or idea could turn into something much bigger. Richard Branson has said that if he had never taken notes, then many of Virgin’s companies and projects would never have started.[2]

  1. Make you a more efficient reader

Whether you’re reading a book for personal or business development, note-taking can really help maintain focus and give you the ability to retain important quotes, processes or thinking techniques.

You could underline and fold back the corner of the page but pulling out key elements of the book and then referring back to them gives you the opportunity to think deeper or look at ways you could action those elements in your business and life.

  1. Improve your memory

Humans tend to lose almost 40% of new information within the first 24 hours of reading or hearing it. So, effective note taking can help you retain and retrieve almost 100% of the information you receive.

When you take handwritten notes, you are writing and organizing as you’re thinking, which forces your thoughts to process the information in a deeper way.

  1. Help you better organize your thoughts

One challenge people have with note taking is to be able to organize them in a way that you can refer back to them later.

Note taking on its own isn’t enough. You have to revisit the notes and cement the important information in your mind.

If the notes are all over the place this is hard to do. To make this process simpler, you can keep all of your notes in the same place, keep the same format and review your notes on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

  1. Improve your attention span

When you have a notebook and pen with you, you become more active and engaged in your environment.

You’ll focus more and pay more attention — a thought, quote, idea or learning experience. When you develop note-taking skills, you become more engaged, pull out and note down the information you want to capture.

You can then sift, sort and organize your notes to enhance your learning experience or pull out thoughts to develop into bigger ideas.

  1. Train you to capture only what matters

Note-taking moves us away from transcribing everything that we hear in a meeting, coaching session or classroom.

With a pen and notepad at the ready our mind begins to tune in to the things or ideas that matter. We become able to filter out the ‘noise’ and focus in on the most relevant points, or keywords or ideas that we can build on later or refer back to.

  1. Help you ask better questions

If you’re in a meeting and you’re fully engaged and taking notes, your mind can begin to open up and your thought process widens.

You begin to see connections that you might miss if you hadn’t jotted down a specific note. This helps you ask better questions as you may need something to be clarified further or it has opened up a new idea that you want to explore further.

  1. Make you become a more active learner

The physical act of writing things down can often help clarify the thoughts and ideas you have in your mind.

Once things are written down, there is a form of mental stimulation and connection in the mind.

  1. Help you achieve goals

A number of studies show that the process of taking notes helps people to boost learning and achieve their goals.

One of Brian Tracy’s core philosophies for goal achievement is writing down your goals as we are more committed to what we write down versus what we say.

Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, recently studied the art and science of goal setting:

She discovered, through group research, that those who wrote down their goals and dreams on a regular basis achieved those desires at a significantly higher level than those who did not. She found that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis.

How to make taking notes a habit

Making note-taking a habit can make you more focused, more productive and more creative.

It can help you capture all of your thoughts, ideas and retain information that can set you up for success.

But how can we create a note-taking habit in our daily lives to ensure that it works equally well in the boardroom, meeting room, classroom or wherever you’re spending your time?

  1. Invest in a notebook

Spend a bit of time finding a notebook that you love. Notebooks come in all shapes, sizes and colors, so it’s about finding the one that works for you.

I use a mixture of moleskins and leather bound notebooks from Florence.

If you don’t want to get that notebook out and write in it, then it will stay hidden.

  1. Keep your notes in the same place

To ensure your notes are organized and easily referenced, then keep them in one place.

You may choose to have a notebook for different situations and learning experiences. One may be for ideas. You may have one for the office and for meetings. Another could be for personal development.

I personally keep all my notes in one place but they are clearly headed and indexed so I can refer back to them easily.

  1. Carry a notebook with you

The simple act of carrying a notebook with you will inspire you to take notes.

Try this:

Have a notebook with you for 21 days and see when and where you are taking notes and when you’re not.

This will ensure you have your notebook handy for the meetings, activities and opportunities that matter.

  1. Find your note-taking style

Many of us have different note taking styles, so find one that suits the way you think and that ensures you get the maximum benefit from the notes you’ve taken.

A one-word note or thought can be just as powerful as a more detailed overview of a meeting.

A few note taking styles you can explore further and try out include:

  • Mind Mapping
  • The Outline Method
  • The Charting Method
  • The Cornell Method
  • The Maria Popova Method
  • Rapid Logging Method
  1. Keep the same format

Once you’ve found a method and system that works for you, stick with it and amend it as you go along to your own personality.

If you chop and change styles, it will be more difficult to retrace and decipher your notes effectively at a later date.

One key to follow is to ensure that the notes page is dated and a headline or key topic is shown at the top of the page.

If you are creating different symbols or letters as a reference point e.g. M for Meetings, ensure this is included as well.

  1. Review your notes

You may find it hard to find the time to revisit your notes but it’s important that you do.

Set time aside to review your notes, ideally within 48 hours of making them.

If you leave your notes gathering dust for a week or so after taking them, your recall won’t be as strong and you will be less inclined to take action on them.

Some notes will bring up further questions, some will require further thinking time and others won’t be a priority right now.

By taking the time to review them, you are always being proactive rather than reactive.

  1. Take action

One of the keys to building a successful habit is that you achieve some form of success, however small.

This success builds momentum and helps you develop and grow every day. It also ensures that the habit sticks.

As Richard Branson said:

“Go through your ideas and turn them into actionable and measurable goals. If you don’t write your ideas down, they could leave your head before you even leave the room.”

The bottom line

Note-taking is one of the keys to success for many high level entrepreneurs and if you can make it a habit, you would make better decisions, solve problems better, be more creative, increase your learning and improve your productivity.

It may take a lot of discipline to make note-taking a habit in your daily life; but once you find a process that works for you, the benefits could be huge.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via


[1] Virgin: Why Everyone Should Be Taking Notes

[2] Richard Branson: The Importance Of Taking Notes


(1)Why Successful People Take Notes And How to Make It Your Habit @ Lifehack.

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When authenticity does more harm than good

Let us consider two scenarios, you are the consultant:

Scenario (1): Imagine that a longtime company client effectively told you that they wanted to transform their high-profile global customer forum into a new product sales event. Given management’s declared commitment to customer satisfaction and net promoter scores, you would have thought that this a serious mistake; the move would clearly undermine hard-won credibility and inhibit honest feedback from the firm’s smartest and loyal customers.

You argued that the regular C-suite participants were unlikely to see the shift as customer-centric. “Let’s preserve at least one event where our best customers, not our newest products, are the real stars. Let’s better balance selling and listening. Let’s respect our declared values since the forum is called a global customer forum, not a sales event.”

However, the management response was polite dismissal where your authentic concerns were perfunctorily acknowledged but refuted, and your contract were not renewed. Soon after the sales-centric forum went forward and proved as embarrassing and, according to account executives, an expensive error of judgment. The customers were unhappy and sales decreases instead of increases.

Scenario (2): Imagine that a CEO client had you review her pitch to sell the company. The presentation was excellent. However, a key section completely misrepresented and misunderstood a critical buyer issue. Your authentic reaction? Any serious purchaser would roll their eyes, close their checkbook and decline a meeting. Meaning, she’d crafted a deal-killer unconsciously; even though this reflected poorly on her business judgment, but how shall you expressed this concerns of yours?

Once you made up your mind, you decided to repressed that response. Instead, you emphasized the proposal’s great strengths but suggested she’d be wise to have a (specific) member of her board review that specific section. And the result? The subsequent revision was flawless and your reputation unharmed.

Analysis of the event:

In the first case, you were an authentic failure; while in the second, a less-than-authentic success. And honestly, I greatly prefer the latter. So should you. Authenticity as a professional virtue is wildly overrated since its real-world costs frequently outweigh its promised benefits. But that doesn’t mean that you must not be authentic. Just be politically authentic, since most of the time it is not really about what you said, but the way you said it that makes the difference.

Authenticity as a professional virtue is wildly overrated since its real-world costs frequently outweigh its promised benefits


Authenticity which sometime is defined as “the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures” would seems less a managerial necessity than a narcissistic tendency.

If being true to one’s self means alienating colleagues or clients, does that signify personal integrity or professional counter-productivity? Should your boss or biggest client treat you horribly, but authentically declare that’s solely because they believe that’s the best way to get your best work? Should you graciously acknowledge and respect such authenticity?

Well, these aren’t rhetorical questions as much as empirical challenges to the romantic assertions that authenticity is a managerial quality to be diligently cultivated rather than rigorously avoided.

In truth, authenticity may be more valuable as interpersonal means than self-actualizing end.

For example, is it OK to Yell at Your Employees? Example such as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Sir Alex Ferguson, among the plethora of successful leaders who regularly raised their voices to elevate expectations. While no one questioned these high-decibel displays as fake or phony. However it is important to note that these successful leaders does not resort to yelling all the time and to everyone, but rather selectively and depending on which employee or subordinate that they are dealing with at the moment (or case to case basis). Take Sir Alex Ferguson for example, his hair dryer treatment during his highly successful tenure as the Red Devils manager were legendary, but he was quotes to treat Nani differently, Sir Alex Fergusan never yelled at Nani. Why? Simply because Nani wouldn’t react well to being shouted at.


He names Nani as one of those who wouldn’t react well to being shouted at, but Ferguson – a master man-manager – knew this and handled the Portuguese winger differently.

“Sir Alex was really clever like that,” Rooney said. ‘He knew who he could have a go at, who it was best to leave alone. He always knew it brought the best out of me. It wouldn’t work with Nani.”


Yet authenticity enthusiast typically recoil at rude, crude, and authentically effective bad behavior. But what do we do about authentic manipulators and jerks? Perhaps the opposite of authenticity isn’t fakery but civility and good manners. Authenticity, like beauty, is in the eye of its beholder. What I passionately share as authentic, you may experience as arrogant. What you viscerally, instantly, and authentically veto as not “on brand,” I authentically interpret as thoughtless, witless and mindless rejection. Improving our respective AQs—“Authenticity Quotients”—would likely make our interactions worse, not better.

After all, which “authenticity” is truly fit to rule? Is it Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, the immediate authenticity of pattern matching and recognition that some psychologists call “intuition”? Or does Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast & Slow come closer to the authenticity mark? As every reader well knows, “in the moment” authenticity feels vastly different from authenticity expressed after thought and reflection. It is as if our thought and reflection are actually a filter for our mind in order to express our authenticity in a well mannered and civilized ways.

That said, arguing that authenticity is great for wonderful people but makes a poor behavioral choice for jerks simply doesn’t buy you much. The empirical truth is that there are many kinds of authenticity and even more ways they can be (mis)interpreted.

In remarkably short periods of time, people could determine authenticity’s effectiveness as a workplace value. Does “to thine own self be true” demonstrably trump “discretion is the better part of valor” in facilitating productive workplace outcomes? Does “fake it ’til you make it” really deliver? If authenticity is truly so important, then let’s truly attempt to measure its influence and impact.

As mentioned by a saying of Holy Prophet, Muhammad SAW (albeit it is a Da’if Hadith), there is no wisdom like reflection, and no honor like good manners, hence, let us filter our authenticity through reflection and expressed it in the best manners possible. Let’s us be authentic but at the same time, considerate and kind.

It was narrated from Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“There is no wisdom like reflection, and no honor like good manners.”

Grade   : Da’if (Darussalam)        

Reference: Sunnah Ibn Majah (English reference),  Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4218

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3 common flaws we make during Salah

Salah (prayer) are supposed to be the Muslim way to relax and chill after a tiring day, and the best part is, the compulsory prayer is 5 times a day. In my opinion, the benefit of prayer is like that of meditation, it’s not only good for your heart, but also for your soul.

  1. Reciting the verses too fast: Just like music, in order to enjoy it, the tempo should be on point, if too fast, you heart might be racing and in the end, instead of feeling relaxed you most likely end up more tired and burned out than before you pray.  Therefore, pace yourself well when reciting the verses, make sure you hear them yourself, it will soothe your heart and soul.
  2. Mindless act: In order to be able to observe the benefit of prayer, it need to be done mindfully. It’s not a mindless and or just a physical activity. Just as per a beautiful quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.” Therefore, in order to reap full benefit of prayer, we need to do mindfully. I believe, the right term here is khusyuk.
  3. Feeling less recitation: It’s hard to have feeling for something that you do not understand. I’m myself still have a lot to learn with this respect, but I believe we are all work in progress and always a better version of ourselves to aspire to.

Nevertheless, just keep on improving, not only with regards to spiritual aspect, but also in our worldly affairs, and with our interaction with our non-Muslim friends and colleague. As per a quote (hadith) from my beloved,

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو حَفْصٍ، عَمْرُو بْنُ عَلِيٍّ أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو دَاوُدَ، حَدَّثَنَا صَدَقَةُ بْنُ مُوسَى، حَدَّثَنَا مَالِكُ بْنُ دِينَارٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ غَالِبٍ الْحُدَّانِيُّ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ خَصْلَتَانِ لاَ تَجْتَمِعَانِ فِي مُؤْمِنٍ الْبُخْلُ وَسُوءُ الْخُلُقِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ حَدِيثِ صَدَقَةَ بْنِ مُوسَى ‏.‏ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ‏.
“Two traits are not combined in a believer: Stinginess and bad manners.”

Muslim supposed to have the best of manners and characteristic, it’s not the religion that brought us down, it is our manners.

Let’s improve on our prayer, and also on our character while we still can . . .

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Tips for speaking with confidence

  • Pace Setting. Make sure to be in control of your pace. Remember to speak slowly enough for listeners to follow but quickly enough to sustain their interest.
  • Use a low-pitched voice. Many people interpret a low-pitched voice as authoritative and influential. Likewise, completing a sentence with a downward inflection-a lowering of pitch-communicates confidence and certainty.
  • Control loudness. Speak loudly enough to be heard but not so loudly as to irritate or offend listeners. Increase the volume of your voice a bit when you want to emphasize important words and phrases.
  • Be articulate. Clearly articulate words and phrases to convey confidence and competence. In order to be articulate, you really need to practice your presentation and know the subject matter well enough.
  • Use pauses for impact. Pause just before making a point you want to emphasize-and maintain eye contact with your listeners during the pause. Don’t use ‘hmm’ or ‘err’, it just don’t look nice.