Sunday, March 29, 2009

Friends Forgotten

It is to my constant amazement when I look at the people with whom I have crossed paths with at some point in my life, who I do not see on a regular basis and the accomplishments they have designed for their lives. It puts into perspective the amazing heights we are all going to achieve in all different directions. For instance since I have really begun to dig photography and try to make it more a part of what I do, I have noticed so many old friends and peers that are now at a stage where its so much a passion its going to be what they do in life. It's almost like I didn't connect the dots while they were doing the high should yearbook or working in the photo lab that this was actually a possibility.

This post emanates in part because of my inclination to do more worthwhile networking and reaching outside of my comfort zone following the often given advice that talking to people who have done what you aim to achieve is the shortest route to get where you aim to be. And so it follows that the intention put out there conspires to reveal itself, meet amazing people, reconnect to those who have long since slipped out of mind, and lastly make the effort to connect the dots that are closer than you may think. Even those who may seem close could use a reminder of how much value they add to your life whether down the block or across a couple continents.

Simplicity and sincerity to all.

Song of the Day: Dusty Springfield- Spooky

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Imperative 15 Minutes

This weeks post comes from my first contributing writer; My sister. When I reached out to the ones that I care about and whose opinion I value my sister offered some advice and a mental approach she had used to make decisions. Real decisions, those that should be taken seriously enough to be made with more heart than head, more personality than practicality. So to those few who follow I offer the following....
"I think you should do whatever your heart is telling you to do. That's going to be the right decision. I know you've got options and you're trying to sensibly analyze them, but I really truly believe there is no bad choice here and so you should just go with your heart. You will get into analysis paralysis and will talk yourself out of all moves and it's not going to make your live any happier or more fulfilled. Whatever your heart tells you to do that's what you should do.

This weekend pick a time and dedicate 15minutes to give your heart a chance to speak. Get into a room by yourself with total quite and then just instruct yourself to imagine the best possible scenario for you with no prior conditions or assumptions - your heart will make it up for you and you have to insist on details write it all down if you can the clothes your wearing, the smells, the colors, the company, the environment. Maybe you imagine yourself at the beach drinking pina coladas, wearing sandals and smelling suntan lotion with a couple of hot chicks now what brand are the sandals? what color is the ocean? Once you feel complete read what you've written and fill in more detail - no judgment yet. When you're done with the writing then you can examine and apply analysis. If your sandals are kenneth cole or oscar dela renta then that will determine if money is important, if the ocean is turquoise and warm it will help with what location you're in (pacific or Indian ocean). When you've got most of those items figured out making a decision on your next move becomes easy. If money is important I would say don't go volunteer with AKF or even go to kenya. you should go to vancouver and make some dough. Then you can get yourself to a beach and wear the cool sandals. if dad is in the people that you're with or if the ocean is warm and the sandals are bata then you should go to kenya and enjoy that experience. Now if dad is in your picture and your wearing expensive sun glasses then you need to make money and then go to kenya .

keep in mind you are the only one who can imagine your future and then live it. Don't live by other's standards, priorities or beliefs. once you idenitfy yours then go get advice for those specific things - for money Alnoor Uncle, Iqbal uncle and other coaches, for volunteering i can put you in touch with a ton of philantropists and even the AKF, for family mum, dad, nazmin and I are at hand, for women and commitment to one you can talk to derek and vic. We tend to get advice and then blindly follow it and then wonder why things are at where they are at. I was totally there with the spa. i made money a priority because that's all I was hearing from Alnoor Uncle, nazmin, derek, work, etc. Not that they were giving me advice, but that's what they prioritized so i did too and then all my actions were following that priority. i woke up and realized that I've never prioritized money and it's always been about the feeling of well being inside of me and when i conciously made that a priority it was clear to me that I needed to give the spa to mum coz that just fealt right and still feels right and that's where I want to be.

Hope I've helped."

Nashina Asaria

Song of the Day: Moby-Porcelain

Monday, March 16, 2009

Simple Things

In the grandeur of dreams and the rush of reality one thing that I struggle to sometimes embrace and appreciate. The following is a brief list I need to consciously acknowledge and do more of.

Read. As in my initial post this is a stated goal and I am enjoying it more and more. The current must read list is as follows.
  • "The Four Hour Work Week" Tim Ferriss
  • "Get Smarter" Seymour Schulich
  • "Influence" - The Psychology of Persuasion" Robert Cialdini
  • "The Game- Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick Up Artists" Niel Strauss
  • "Power of Now" Eckhart Toll
Meditate. This is something that I rarely do but really would love to not only do more but do it effectively. I think that this would really allow me to get more out of myself in all aspects.

Cooking. Perhaps my greatest stress valve and I am getting pretty damn good at it. I love spontaneity. From the ingredients to the finished product. It seems that this medium allows me do more than shine on date nights.

It is the simplicity in life, simplicity in ideas, simplicity in relationships, and simplicity in mental state that is sublime. What keeps your universe simple?

Song of the Day: Zero 7- Red Dust

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The 5 Year Plan

"Remember who you are; revisit what and who are most important to you; and always give those who are cheering for you the chance to share with you in your successes. Ask for help when you need it, offer help whenever you can, and be the leader for others that you would have someone be for you. Give thanks sincerely, whenever it is due." R.M.

So its time to get pen to pad and outline exactly how I envision the next phase of my life. The purpose is to give a guideline with enough structure and quantitative substance to monitor progress while not having so much rigidity as to limit growth, flexibility, and change. First however I must know where I am in order to get to where I want to go.

Currently, I am in a learning curve and in a mode of patience and relative passiveness. I earn a a pretty sub par salary, I have a pretty decent size chunk of student loan debt, I am more focused on consumption versus savings, I am absorbing a ton of input from various sources and am more and more encouraged to learn, read and even volunteer. Now how to get from point A to where I want to B.

In 5 years I aim to have have an after tax cash flow of $250,000. A large portion of this passively created with little or no involvement on my behalf. I would like to own my first boutique hotel. I would like to have no personal debts and prude leveraging on the business side. My savings would be at least proportional to my consumption. I will no longer reside permanently in one location but have the flexibility to choose where I operate from.

That in summation is a pretty nice trajectory in more than just my opinion. How do I get there? Step 1-There are going to be a lot of little steps.
Step 2-Start Saving
Step 3-Take good risks
Step 4- Metrics to track and measure progress
Step 5-Hard work and opportunity combined with luck!

And always have a Plan B....Plan B: Get lucky enough to get a job that lets me travel the world.

Song of the Day: Phoenix-1901

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Family Business

I have had a ton of ideas and topics that I have been meaning to post about the last couple of days. Everything from goals and growth to networking and even the ideal woman. Interestingly they are all linked. The best way to start would be with my trip this weekend to Vancouver for my cousin's wedding (probably where the ideal woman comes in). The most interesting part about my family right now is the incredible amount personal growth that is happening and how it is positively impacting the whole family dynamic. From my perspective we are all so much more self aware and consciously act accordingly. It is such a pleasant thing to experience the openness of communication and lack of political and emotional baggage that sometimes surfaces. So with that being the background context I think I can move to how the environment was a fertile ground for me to do some of my own growth both personally and in a business perspective.

The main thing that I learned was that there is actually little use in having material wealth if it is not well balanced with other aspects that make that material wealth actually useful. Not to say that I did not already know this but the point was driven home. I did discover that it is actually the most gratifying point in life is when you are a ‘complete’ human and always trying to better oneself. This is not intended to be a mushy statement but actually in the way I mean it, it is rather selfish. If you work on bringing aspects that add value into your life you are really just aiding your own well being. For example having children and participating in their lives, being well educated and continuing to discover for the simple joy of learning and how that spills over into other aspects of life. Including people you want in your life by being open and very honest about your thoughts. Not just being a good communicator but actually putting a hidden agenda aside and getting real results, progress, and tangibility in those relationships that matter most. First hand experience would be this weekend with my cousin Nadeem with whom I have had a pleasant and cordial relationship with but of little substance and understanding. That changed considerably this weekend in a positive way. I am very excited and a little overwhelmed at the amount of work I have to do to get to the point I want, but it is an opportunity and challenge I look forward to taking on.

In the business arena I learnt an age old lesson; surround yourself with people that are smarter than you. I learn more and more and even though I don’t realize it my learning curve is expanding at a pretty good pace. At a meeting I had with a potential business partner and with the help of some influential people in my life who I really trust it was brought to my attention that in order to build what I want, I need quality people who bring instant recognition and a skill set superior to that of mine. If my sisters are still working for someone else it is definitely a sign that those who should be millionaires on their own often end up working for a six figure salary, so why not utilize it. And it actually gives me even more confidence that I can make my vision happen faster (more to come on this...the vision that is)

Song of the day: Damn Arms - Destination Pt. II