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Azim Jamal is an inspirational speaker, management consultant, executive coach, and international best-selling author. His work has been recognized by leading thinkers in the field of human potential including Dr Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy and Dr Ken Blanchard. The Corporate Sufi applies timeless Sufi principles to the modern corporate world, examining the uncommon connection between an age-old philosophy for living and working in the 21st century.Visit

Finding your balance

If you define balance as devoting equal portions to different areas of your life then most successful people - Nobel Prize winners, Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela - would not be living balanced lives! These are people who are busy doing what is really important.

What one needs to consider is that balance means putting enough quantitative and qualitative time into what is important to you! So really what you are looking for is a meaningful existence and a place to channel all your passion, as opposed to just covering the bases. The secret for Maya Angelou, who is one of the most popular living poets, an Emmy Award-winning actress and producer and mentor to Oprah Winfrey, is "finding many ways to feed my soul." Balance for you may also mean finding many ways to feed your soul.

How about you?

What does balance mean to you?

The power of giving - serve others!

One of my friends Naz asked her mother just before she passed on, "How would you live your life differently, if you had to start again?" She replied, without hesitation: "I would serve twice as much."

As you serve others and balance your life, you find peace and inner happiness. It makes your efforts worthwhile. If you only chase material success you might find that you have plenty but you still feel empty! As Og Mandino aptly says, "Success without happiness is the biggest failure".

How about you?

Have you found a cause that you would like to contribute your time, money or wisdom?

Can everyone take the initiative?

Absolutely! This is illustrated in these two examples:

In Nov 2006, I was in interviewing a client's top 25 out of 700 employees when the janitor asked the CEO if she could see me for a few minutes. The CEO hesitantly asked me and I said, "Yes." She told me that she is the first person to come into the office in the morning and the last one to leave. She ensured all the offices were clean so that the senior staff had the best environment to work in. She explained that she had three young children who many times had to go without lunch because she put work first. She begged us not to close the plant down because she relied on this work to sustain her family. Her husband had left her for a younger woman and did not provide for their children. Her story had me all ears and in tears. She was gutsy, different and managed to get my undivided attention ahead of the 675 other employees who were higher in rank. Taking the initiative means asking for what you want!

How about you?

Do you take the initiative and ask for what you want?

Here's the second example: In Oct 2007, I missed my stop over flight to Dar-es-salaam from Johannesburg. I could not get another flight until the next morning. As I was looking for a place to book hotels I bumped into a lady who seemed like she worked at the airport. I told her what I was looking for and she went out of her way and spent 20 minutes with me to find me a hotel, a driver for a tour, and a ride back the next morning. Fantastic! And guess what? I later found out that this was not even in her job description. She took the initiative and did her colleague's job. We all get chances to take initiative and help others - be it our colleagues and customers or family and friends.
How about you?

Do you take initiative at work and help your colleagues and customers?

Trust your intuition and turn setbacks into opportunities

During a recent trip to Tajikistan (November 2007), I lost my bags at a stopover in Istanbul. It was a drag going to Tajikistan for three days without my bags as flights from Istanbul to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, occur only twice a week. When I came back to Istanbul I was asked to go through immigration to pick up my bags because they were lying in the storage. This cost me US$60 for a visa. After I got through customs, I was going from one place to another as no one could locate my bags. It is quite frustrating.

In my frustration a thought dawned unto me that I could spend the extra two days in Istanbul, which would make all the hassles in Istanbul worthwhile. This thought was triggered because I had seen two of my books, The One Minute Sufi and 7 Steps to Lasting Happiness, in both of the bookstores at the Istanbul airport - this was a good sign since my books had recently been published and the airport bookstores usually carry only major hits. So after I found my bags my next task was to find the airline reservation to change my flight booking from Istanbul to London.

This is where I bumped into a tour guide who was wearing an official badge. He asked: "Would you like to book a package with me for a hotel and tour?" I discussed details with him and told him that I was interested but needed to change my flights first. He stated that this would not be a problem since there are flights to London every day. I trusted my gut and went with him. We dropped the bags in his car and came back to change my tickets. It so happened that the hotel the tour guy picked was two blocks away from my publisher - a complete coincidence! I spent the first day touring with the tour guide and the next day with my publisher. I found out The One Minute Sufi is in the Top 10 in one of the biggest bookstore chains in Turkey. We walked through the busiest street in Istanbul and all four bookstores on that street carried both my books in a prominent place. The publisher organized a few media interviews, which, due to my short stay, I did by email. The publisher also spent a few hours showing me all the exciting places in Istanbul. What a wonderful experience I had in turning a setback into an opportunity.

How about you?

Do you trust your intuition?

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Azim Jamal

The Corporate Sufi
by Azim Jamal