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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Time Management Guide For Unfortunate People Living in Under Developed Countries

I spent all morning, applying for my car license renewal application. It was one of my most daunting nightmares in wasting time. There were no signs, no instructions and the only skill I needed to renew an Egyptian car license was to follow my gut. I stood in a line for 3 hours and when my turn came the (DMV lady) looked at my paper and said; sorry wrong window go to the next one. I looked at the next window to find an endless line that might take more than 3 hours to reach it. I took a deep breath with complete silence, patience, grace and waited in that other line. Then my day ended with I had a missing paper to get from another department and it’s my fault for not forecasting and predicting that missing paper. 

I really don’t want to discuss the details of this specific story because it literally keeps reminding me of how 4 days of my life got wasted on doing nothing expect renewing my car license. I developed a habit of waiting from 8 am at the window for the DMV lady to have her breakfast. Since, it was a transparent glass I managed to steal a glance at the contents of her breakfast which were eggs, cucumbers, nasty smelling cheese (mesh) and tea. 

Then she opened the window giving me a complete disgusting look to my face. Then took my papers and that’s the moment I prayed to god in complete serenity that she accepts it.

Honestly, most of the times my prayers weren't powerful enough. She returned my folder back and gave me new instructions much different than the ones of the day before. What bothers me the most, is that I got my folder with an extra bonus of the smell of her rotten cheese (mesh). It seemed she hadn't washed her hands after breakfast. At that precise moment, I got the urge to burn the folder and to persuade myself on what’s wrong with the concept of riding a bicycle.

I've read tens of books around time management, hundreds of articles from different authors. But to be honest with you it never worked for me. All methods weren't relevant to my subtle lifestyle here in Egypt. 

Obviously, the time management authors haven't met the DMV lady. She enslaved me for 4 days from 8 am to 4 pm to finish a piece of paper flavored with rotten cheese. I swear I used every method they taught in their books and seminars in a practical way suitable to my day but it never lasted. 

I made audio CDs in my car as the roads in Egypt are always jammed so hopefully hearing an audiobook will enhance my auditory learning skills plus I get to learn a new knowledge. This sounds so stunning but the author who recommended this idea didn't know that I struggle every second in my car to avoid a car accident. Not I pumping into someone else’s car but it seem drivers never heard of rear-view mirror. It's a side mirror comes with every car in the world. I presume who ever invented this mirror was aiming for the drivers to look at it, however drivers in Egypt find it useless some even close it and majority just remove it! presuming it's something EXTRA.

Also same goes for left and right flasher. Why use them when others could rely on their hunch and predict if he or she goes right or left. I think my driving skills here in Egypt are based on me understanding driver's feelings. This is a great daily experience in enhancing my emotional intelligence. so, telling me to follow the audio book in this freak show is complete non-sense.

I keep wondering if Steven Covey was living in Egypt in our current times he would have written a book called the 7 Habits of Not Getting Screwed Up. I mean when I was in college I knew I was going to get screwed eventually in this society from the moment I graduate. But it seems I had to feel it to admit it out loud. You see I only have one problem with the system there is NONE. In my college days I had to return back to my country simply because my patriotic father told me you'll get the best education in this beloved country. My dad has great emotions towards this country he has a dream one day for Egypt to become one of the great independent industrial countries. I love this side of my dad he never turns his back on his homeland. 

However turning to my point of view after tasting the disease of the corruption in people's souls I can only say it's far beyond cancer that must be left or else you'll get infected. After all of this I can only say it’s funny to see personal development trainers talking about time management in Egypt. I have to say I’m so pizzled this word entered our dictionary of being puzzled and pissed at the same time.

After writing my recent blog post on YouTube and big couches discussing the importance of reading a friend contacted me and said:
“Saleh I think I can feel the energy you spread but how can a nation read when they are committed to full time daily labor to provide the minimum requirements of food on the table. Your post is irrelevant to our Egyptian society since you are only talking to people with full stomachs! Poverty has great side-effects, the major one is ignorance. The system you are living in likes to rule poor ignorant people because of the moment they stop racing for food, they'll start to think. Leading to complains and trouble for the government, the best solution is to quiet them down with poverty." End of message.

I got only one replay for this message. Dear, the system you keep mentioning is currently absent. In Egypt there is no system. 3 months ago I made a video called “Obey the system” at that time I thought there was a system!

From Micro-scale, This so called system is usually based on one lazy man or woman who gets up in the morning. If he or she feels fine, then don’t worry your day will go alright. If he or she woke up feeling a little bit disturbed then you are certainly screwed. And never ever disturb whoever in charge, when eating breakfast. You’ll get the most severe definition of the word “screwed". trust me based on a personal true story.

Now I am not going to dig deep into the dirty politics we currently have, since it's not my thing. So far I am only giving depressing facts but with no solutions but don't skip to conclusions there is still hope hiding in the dark. I am reaching for individuals like you and me, not systems nor groups. You can never change a big system (if there was any) but you can definitely change yourself to the most efficient state. There are several common problems I need to issue and discuss.

The Myth of Multi-Tasking

Have you ever done two or more things at once eating while watching television, scratching your head during a phone call or texting while driving. I remember that famous slogan spread all over Egypt "texting and driving don't mix".
Yoda says: your focus is your reality. 
Imagine me and you first time entering an office. This office consists of 3 main things; 2 banners promoting free trip to Sydney and the third thing is a walking spider on those 2 banners spreading his web with passion. As for me, I love traveling, the first thing I’ll spot is the free sydney trip and I'll day-dream of me smelling the beautiful aroma of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney. 

This situation might differ for you if you had an arachnophobia (afraid of spiders) and I told you during this split second check out this free trip to Sydney all expenses paid! The only thing you'll do is screaming looking aimlessly to find something to hit that spider with. You will never ever respond to this offer. You might even get blind enough to not notice a camera in the room to find it was all a planned will have your complete attention focused on one thing avoiding all distractions. 

Those distractions can be two things SENSORY, this means while you reading my article you are distracted away from lyrics of the music if you were playing any or not thinking about the movement directions of your tongue or eyes while reading this. It's about avoiding sensations this type of distraction is easy to avoid.

The second one is the most difficult which is the EMOTIONAL. Like a recent blowup in a close relationship or the loss of a family member. The more our focus gets disrupted, the worse we do.

Overcoming your emotional waves during the day will increase your focus skills. You'll have an immune system against emotional disturbance.

The only reason why you can ride a bicycle with no longer worrying to fall down because….

The more we practice a routine, the more the basal ganglia take it over from other parts of the brain. This leads us to pay less attention—and finally none—as it becomes automatic.

At first you struggle learning a new skill once it starts becoming a routine you stop thinking on the mechanism and start using it unaware. Like learning a new language you get frustrated with the grammar at first and after 2 years of practice you speak it fluently not worrying a bit about rules of the language.

Lacking focus, means less long term memory having nothing to recall later on. That is why multi-tasking can mess your life up getting a false illusion being active all day. But after one month of analysis on a skill you experienced simply you'll get so little in comparison with someone focused. Recent researches say there is no such thing as multi-tasking. It is called switch tasking, going from task to another. This is all distractions and the more distracted we are the more shallow our reflections.
Most of us have a handful of strong personal ties meaning close trusted friends. We share with them our personal events, hang out, chat and enjoy the companionship. We can have hundreds maybe thousands of so called weak ties (like Facebook friends who never met them or have superficial relation with them) who do you focus with?

Time Management is Nearly Obsolete in Underdeveloped Countries

Have you ever noticed yourself doing so well in good mood. While on the contrary, having a bad mood can give you fewer results although you spent same amount of time with same tasks but with different moods.

Tony Schwartz, author of The Power of Full Engagement, recommends that we manage our energy not our time.

Energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind, and spirit. In each, energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed by establishing specific rituals.

Exercise, and diet is vitally important, however, spiritual and feelings about oneself and the environment is also vitally important.

That is why create your own bubble of positive people that surround you. Keep away from the negative ones they can be contagious. 

Eat healthy to avoid any disease or food poisoning. Have a powerful relation with god. For me as a Muslim I'm obligated to pray 5 times a day this nourishes the soul and recharge the energy. This can only happen if a Muslim prayed with complete focus. Based of the definition of focus mentioned previously if prayed with it and got surrounded by 12 gorillas, 2 chipmunks and 5 dancing monkeys playing saxophone. You should not feel distracted at all. 

As the beauty in that prayer is to get immersed in a new dimension that cannot described into words. 

Always keep yourself in a strong bond with your family as this for some reason induces a new energy flame that can never be quenched unless you break this bond.

It's all about energy I believe in the law of 80/20 which says; 20 percent of your activity will lead to 80 percent of your productivity.

Ask yourself this simple question; When you get up in the morning, are you happy getting to work, school, or whatever absorbs your day?

Majority are either stressed or bored and only exceptional cases when their day start to get exciting. It seems most don’t know the purpose of what they do therefore no enjoyment making no good energy to flow and finish the task efficiently.

High achievers you see out-there they found their purpose, they loved what they do.

Ask your Mom when you were a baby how did she had the energy to wake up in the middle of the night just to calm you down, hug you, kiss you. And she can do it for over 10 times in one night constantly without being tired or bored. It’s the energy of love, it's mother's love. It's energy than can never be broken until the mother dies.

I share with you this energy concept in hope to pass it on to the loved ones.

However this doesn’t tune out time management completely I managed to make my own system hope it works for you. Been using it for one year and it's doing great to analyze my progress in life. Here is an example of a current picture I have on my wall. 

as you can see, this illustrates my analysis to my behavior in my day, despite those big 4 RED X's because of the cute DMV lady. Anyway, any activity I find effective, important or positive I must add it to the schedule. Anything extra I do in the day like reading a book, travelling to a certain place, visiting family, writing an article, volunteer work, new progress in work.

I exclude stuff I usually do daily like for example praying, sleeping (certain amount of hours), eating, walking, usual work, and all the routines that no longer became something considered as a new achievement, as you don’t want to make your schedule messy with non-important stuff.

This schedule is important to keep and after 6 month analyze what did you do in the last 6 month then ask yourself weather were those 6 month worth spending or you need to rise up the bars a little bit higher on your activities. Always save this monthly schedule in your archive to judge yourself and have a personal talk with yourself every 6 month.

And you can always check this book out if you are interested to read for Daniel Goleman on his latest book called “FOCUS – THE HIDDEN DRIVER OF EXCELLENCE”. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Youtube and Big Couches - Know How Your Brains Got Replaced By Potatoes

What is the best shortcut for ..... ? I used to ask this question most of the time. At work, studies, driving, food preparation, reading even sleeping! I discovered I wasn't the only one doing this, most people I got engaged with had the same "short cut mentality". I've noticed this in any online conversations like OMG, LOVE YA, BRB , OIC you can always check the top 50 text terms. Someone might go on telling me  this saves time in texting. Although, I can go forever on how this can screw up your English language to a poor vocabulary state.

However, That is not the only case, we for some reason became lazy creatures in this modern YouTube life. The last decade Tv's made us more passive less active. Then Youtube improved the existence of passive creatures by giving them more easier options to make everything simple and visual. Instead of reading the newspaper we watch it (less effort). Along time ago, when there was no television, people discovered the joy of reading and grew up with books, reading anything that they could lay their hands on. But in this age of television and the Internet, made no chance for  books.

In the past, they used to built their imagination based on words they comprehend. Recently, you are told why use your imagination when we can do it for you. Why think and analyze when everything is so easy & visual. Just sit down and Watch! The couch trend increased because we were looking for something comfy to rest our buttocks on and enjoy our passiveness of continuous watching. We turned to Zombies driven by higher force not knowing what it is but for some reason we comply with acceptance. Our brains have turned into Potatoes because of this easy shortcut approach to learning. 

The only reason fast food restaurants opened long time ago is because of some lazy ass ancestors preferred a convenient fast meal to keep them going during the day. They were too lazy to cook or buy from conventional restaurants as places like these takes on average 30 - 45 minutes to cook a healthy meal. Fast food is now great in taste, takes an average of 5 minutes waiting and makes you full. However each and every single point has a massive draw back. I got shocked when I knew there were industries that were built to provide flavors to burgers, fries, bread...etc. They only work for fast food restaurants to cover the dirt of the taste by delicious chemical ingredients with highly pleasant Aroma. This might look good on the short run as you don't waste your valuable time in food preparation but it never was any good on long term. However there is no place for me here to talk about fast food industry maybe in another article but I truly recommend to read fast food nation.

A week ago I witnessed a female fainted on the sidewalk so I rushed myself to find huge crowd around her WATCHING. They were doing nothing else except observing her. Thank god I accompanied a physician who came on the right timing and rescued her. After this situation passed still people were gathered doing nothing, I connected the dots as it wasn't the first time something like this happened. Every accident on the street people just gather around and watch. It's the passiveness that kills your proactive instinct. As you can see they are accustomed to watch and see how the sequence of events goes without doing any intervention. Too much Tv or any visual entertainment raises this instinct into people. It turns them into a zombie state except that real zombies are scary but them they became as useless as a lump.

We are glued to look always for shortcuts. We might FAIL after using a certain shortcut but for some reason we keep doing it again. Why?

It's the fear of moving on the long path. The normal path is long with forks, holes, challenges and constant non stop efforts. Simply, we either procrastinate or we take a detour to avoid the real path. This gives the illusion of feeling smarter than others. But after sometime we realize we were jumping from shortcut to another leading us no where close to what we really want.

The Journey itself is the point, the challenges itself is the point. I remember going to a concert with a friend he loved the guitarist's performance. After we got out, he told me I think guitar is going to be my thing. Next day, He bought a guitar, so filled with enthusiasm. To be honest he really sucked when he started playing for me as I was the only supporter. He was tutored for 3 months by a private tutor but he didn't reach a state where he can play and someone enjoy and smile unless that someone was deaf. He gave up and went to another instrument and their goes his shortcut struggle. The band that played in concert for almost an hour, rehearsed for this moment at least thousands of hours. I know a professional piano player he told me it took him 2.5 years around 5,000 of hours to play it fluently remembering notes, rhythms and the right tones. Its a long path if you asked me but it's worth it if that was your goal.

2 years ago, I met a friend at a marketing conference in Cairo. She seemed very smart. Our conversation was about the importance of internet marketing in this modern world. She was very interested in my talk. She asked me to give her a condensed course on all the things I know about internet marketing, I welcomed the idea. The conference lasted for 4 days. Each day we would finish the conference and ask for permission from the hall manager to give us an extra hour.

I provided her with my recent case studies, my methods and some of my approaches. The conference and ended everyone got back to their homes. she was from Jordan so I never heard from her till recently. I was surprised to find that she built a new online based company earning 10 times as much as I do. I was astonished, I asked her tell me what did you do?

She was fascinated about this internet marketing whole idea thing, once she got back to Jordan, she started to work  8 - 10 hours everyday and after 2 years there she was so successful 10 times better than me as with her more focused more determined approach. I can only say hard-work truly makes a vast difference in people's lives. She became a different person, different attitude someone else than I knew 2 years ago. I kept thinking of how can only 2 years completely reform her life, how fascinating!!

This philosophy works with relations between humans to humans. To be honest I was living in a wrong approach in my life focusing around efficiency. I used to almost never hangout with a friend for the sake of just hanging out unless something that provides value, either new knowledge, information or something meaningful that leads to good deeds. Everything was measurable according to how my brains function. I politely rejected any invitations to most hangouts in cafes, restaurants that are meant just for the sake to HANGOUT and nothing else.

This method led my close friends on the edge of me losing them. As you can see most people like to hangout to share their social emotions with the ones they love. I never was emotional about sharing my feelings. I tried to change it but it seems it didn't work for me. However, I realized everyone had an emotional bank account that must be filled to sustain a healthy relationship. And for that I was very poor at that aspect. I looked for shortcuts with friends. To be efficient with them. I wasn't building a healthy effective long-term relationship with my close friends.

Back then, my old friends knew that I was the most boring one to chat with. Not because I liked to bore people but I thought what a waste of my valuable time. Especially if this chat was based on "hows everything going" "hows your family" ... Etc. I can't remember me calling someone just for the sake of how  he or she is doing unless if it involves a certain type of activity. But not for the sake "hey let me share with you my emotional status for today".

I gotta say I recently changed 180 degrees, although I still carry some residuals from my past behavior that can't be altered. I mean I can't imagine myself having a romantic phone call that lasts for an hour or two like most of my friends do in their relationships. No way I would endorse this behavior I would literally get a psychological problem if I was forced to do so. And if that someone insisted on something like this I just keep a far distance in my relation with that someone . For that reason I fail connecting with the other gender from the romantic side. I believe we live life once. I am not planning to live it if its full of silly superficial socially based romantic dogma crap. However, that can not contradict with an inner loving soul filled with passion and affection to things that matter.

You see whenever our lives gets messed up we tend to turn to god. It seems after we get so desperate from materialistic means we go look for help up there to gain inner peace and blessings. But we only do it in the hard times and only in the HARD TIMES. Even in our relation with god we look for shortcuts. Their is also a bank account with god that you need to fill with daily honest focused prayers, that tells him; I remember you in my most blessed & difficult times. It doesn't matter what my state is I'm still connected. This involves dedication, long term efforts to reach to that creator up there. It'll never happen by a one time night prayer for the sake of something materialistic to happen. It's like you not studying all semester no slightest clue on any subject. Then you decide to study in the last hour to pass the exam. Hoping to pass the test. Does it work? It Never does!

All I see is that we are contaminated with this shortcut approach to everything. We hold to the words;
  • FAST
  • EASY
We forget all about; 
  • SLOW
  • LONG
  • HARD

We do have to balance between being a social lovable person who maintains and initiates relationships and someone efficient who values time and money to put it in the right place. Doing monk acts with god but never give your back on materialistic measurable means.

 It's all about quality of life, not about working so hard in one area and getting upside down in another.

We live in system that takes time. God created Earth in 7 days. Earth orbits the sun 365 solar days. A pregnant female human needs 9 month to deliver a baby. A seed needs weeks to start having a definite stem form. Learning a new language fluently takes nearly  2 years. Becoming a millionaire involves long years of thinking and work.

Enough flirting with procrastination and easy detours. It's time to go for the natural path that is irrelevant to the word LAZY and relevant to the word PATIENCE. That if you are planning for a life full of accomplishments.  Better live a short life that is full of achievements than a long life filled of shortcuts that leads to misery and tracks of failures. I am very confident not many these days have patience to read full articles. Social media made it easy for them to accommodate their eyes to pictures or small statuses, one to two paragraphs long. So I'm very confident that I writing to the right audience.Thanks for reading. Don't forget to share these thoughts with your friends during hangouts.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Find Your Tomatoes

Every human mindset lives in 4 ages. Not everyone is destined to live up to all four. I usually don’t like to talk in theories and big words so let’s simplify it. If I traveled 12,000 years back in time to a human being this illustrates what I would deal with; 

The average man whom I would meet would go and hunt in the wildlife for food all day long. Then he comes back home “honey I’m home” (in cave man accent) she cooks his catch and that is it. If the surrounded place had no food they migrate to a different place to acquire food. Their life can be summed up into work, eat, sleep, socialize and repeat. Many people across the world in 2014 live by that concept. They work daily in order to provide food with limitations based on their amount of work per day. They strive every single day to repeat the whole process. If one day they got sick their financial status gets hurt. No work near their place! They travel where ever there is work in order to provide food on the table. Corporate or independent employee’s in many specialties work this way. This is called Hunter-gatherer age.

Now, let’s suppose I decided to take that hunter into a desert. And I told him “I have tomato seeds let’s plant them, we only need a fertile land, much water and physical labor” at first that hunter will not mind. There is only one problem he won’t get paid at the end of the day. He wouldn’t find food on the table. Let’s say I had decent persuasion cave man skills to persuade him to work for this land as a part time job.  Still his daily hunting income will get affected and therefore will not join my journey to make a farm. So I decided to go with this alone and this is very risky as 12 millenniums ago. There wasn’t a book called “Farming for DUMMIES” or maybe if I messed up I would have no GOOGLE to ask. So it’s all based on my trials and observations.

So every day I wake early to prepare the land, insert the seed, sow it, add vast amount of water and wait. I kept doing this for nearly 10 months long. I’ve dealt with difficult times in providing food so I went for part time job for some hunter to provide fractions of food to keep me alive. I get mocked by all the hunters in the society on how dumb, ill-minded I am. Not only I’m trying to strive to not get hungry but also to preserve the least amount of self-esteem to keep me going. 10 months later the tomatoes made a fascinating garden. I said to myself finally I have something to relay on for some time without continues working. Not only this had I sold some of it to buy a new place to stay near my garden.

Later on, I got tired of eating only tomatoes so I planted cucumbers, broccoli, peas, beans, corn, and mangos. Then I traded some of it with my neighbor hunters for meat as I’m not planning to be a weak, tired vegetarian zombie plus I bet they are tired of meat as well. After a while I had my own empire of farm. It became a money making machine. I made my own system “plant,wait,sell” and during the wait I had my own crops to “eat or trade”. However, there is a major drawback. I still had to work all day; my farm business was still based on me alone. So I asked myself why not hire some of the hunters to work for me? And there it was my first plan to turn my mindset from HUNTER AGE to FARMER-Gatherer AGE.

So if you are an employee who works hard in the morning and part time in the evening in a business to enlarge it. However you don’t earn a single dime for each day of labor from that evening time job. After a while if you are committed to that business you’ll start harvesting after a certain amount of period of commitment. But remember you have to decide something to become an authority later on. I gave a tomato as an example of specialty. You can’t expect to be an authority in all aspects. Choose one, and only ONE. Work on it hard after a while you’ll turn yourself into an authority in that criteria. Focusing on various aspects will worn you out as it will give you an illusion of being a FARMER, when you are only a hard-working HUNTER. Search for your tomatoes, work for it hard to become the guy that people seek when they need Tomatoes.

Hang on it doesn’t end there. After sometime I needed to inflate my income. Selling tomatoes are cheap as it’s a raw material. So I decided to get out and see what are tomatoes used for and at the first home I stumbled upon I looked through the window to find a family making spaghetti with tomato sauce. A huge dancing light-bulb blinks right above my head. What if I stopped selling tomatoes and turned it into “Tomato sauce”. So to confirm my new idea I visited all districts to look through the window and find most were making tomato sauce out of tomatoes. I began to sell pack of tomato sauce. Each pack is 3 times the price of one raw tomato. Now what if I planted “Red-Hot-Pepper” and mixed it with the sauce giving me a new invention “Hot-sauce” … Oh my god I’m a genius! This sells 5 times the price of both one tomato and red-hot-pepper combined. Not only this I started planning systematic approaches to everything I do. Why? Well if my procedure is systematic (means well known constant steps) it can easily be AUTOMATED. This means fewer mistakes, less humans more machines. Therefore entering a new age called INDUSTRIAL-GATHERER AGE. Then I decided to leave my farm and build my own industry buy TOMATOES from farmers turn it into Sauce, sell it 3-5 times the price. Then I no longer deal with HUNTERS. Only FARMERS are working for me now.

That’s the case for each worker in this age even if he decides to follow the farmers age without any improvement he’ll work for the ones who live in the industrial age. Unless he starts getting his head out of his farm and observe what people use on daily-basis that can be processed from his current tomatoes. It’s all about supply and demand but in a large powerful scale. That employee I mentioned earlier who turned his business into profits must search for a new improved way to systematize it to induce automation into his work. For example if you are running a coffee shop and found most of your customers are in a rush and prefer “Take-away”. Make a coffee machine outside your store that makes coffee in less than a minute. People will love you as we live in a time people prefer the most shortcut approach. This means fewer efforts on your employees less costs on materials, more efficiency, and more happy customers plus on top of that you can reach a state where everything is automated. This is huge when you think about it and relate it to your tomatoes.

Finally, the next age is considered the most top. Looking back to see I’ve found my tomatoes, worked on it. I became an authority in it, turned it into sauce “based on people’s desire”, inflated my income and automated the process. What’s NEXT?

It’s time for some real science to interfere with my procedure. I hear it’s expensive being a woman and according to Average lady spends 221.17 US dollars on skin care products. If each woman lived average of 65 years she’ll spend 14,287.88 US dollars on only skin care products. Nearly every woman on the planet wants a clear brightening healthy skin. Most women nearly 100% would agree with me on that one.

Haven’t you heard according to the recent researches that tomatoes help in balance the skin and get rid of excessive oil. There are also many antioxidants in tomatoes. They are rich in vitamin C making it helpful for acne and brightening dull skin and tomatoes also contain vitamin A which is needed for healthy skin. I started to open my research lab to hire some dermatologists to get me a face-cream-tomato. I could also make Acne-tomato-cream for female teenagers. I started hiring designers to build a design combining the idea of a tomato on the face. I invested in advertisements and TV commercials between series but not any series, I don’t wont to waste my hard earned money.So I searched for dramatic, romantic series that only female watches. Ofcourse, if a guy watches this stuff there is something wrong with him. I’m targeting an audience of romance, drama and emotions. Now can you analyze what I just DID?

I’ve combined the knowledge of dermatology along with marketing science to sell my tomatoes to a special kind of audience that dominates 50% of the planet Earth. Notice that I didn’t sell my tomatoes to be cooked or added to food. I sold it literally on the face and guess what they’ll love it more if I add most popular fragrances they frequently buy. Again what did I just do? I’m beginning to analyze the human psychology and human behavior adding it to my knowledge ingredient to come up with something practical and works. 

This smell thing came to me when I analyzed Cinnabon restaurants in every mall I go to. Cinnabon restaurant takes place next to irrelevant stores and not in the restaurants area. Why on earth do they do that? I mean they are not that dumb to realize they are in the wrong place! When I investigated I found they play on the smell of their product. As when you go shopping you’ll keep smelling the awesome cinnamon smell they add. This Triggers your food craving instinct. This smell carries you to their place to eat that’s so called CINNABON. But wait a second once you go shopping again and smell that same smell you remember the delicious CINNABON you ate. So you go buy it again. Every single time it works and they make sales because of this simple psychological concept called “Smell and Memory” .

This age I’m pointing to is called the “KNOWLEDGE-WORKER-AGE” in order to get to this age you must have followed all the previous steps along with its struggles to achieve this age-mindset. I have to admit most will never get out of their HUNTER-AGE as it’s the safest comfort age. It’s so simple so easy yet so fragile. I wrote this article not for the most it’s for the least who will hire the most. I must be honest every age is a struggle so if you are living comfortable there is something wrong. Remember never forget it’s not about making money it’s about making the world a better place. Helping humans to evolve and being appreciated on what they do and aiding them to follow the right path. You need to be strong in order to give advice. You can’t go wonder around telling people to make a difference while you are sitting doing nothing all day long except hoping to make a difference. You can hope your way through life while others work their whole life to achieve your hopes. But there is a point in this article which is you can work your whole life blind instead why not learn few simple steps to work smart.

Hadza individual has said, "Why should we plant when there are so many mongomongo nuts in the world?"  There will be vast amount of people thinking like this. Why plant my own tomatoes when I can buy them? And if you asked the one who says this; what do you do for a living? He or she will be a usual working hunter who gets up in the morning living in someone else’s dream or business to make a living. They get motivated during the day never estimated their next steps in life and at the end of the day they go telling you those words to crash your dreams with them. 

My advice to you; Find your tomato, plant it, wait for it, harvest it, sell it, turn it into a sauce based on people’s desire, sell it again, systematize your process, automate it, dig into a new pool of knowledge, relate that knowledge to your tomato, sell it, help humanity to be better with your tomato, leave a legacy full of tomatoes. And if you died I congratulate you on making a real impact on a vast society that could last for centuries and next generations will have someone to look up to and learn from. Thanks for reading.

P.S I don't sell tomatoes nor affiliated with any tomato shop :)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's Not the Problem... It's How I Reacted That Made This Upside Down ... Real Story Revealed!

It was December the year 2009, the trend of iPhone was great here in Egypt. Everyone was so desperate to have a phone like this. I really didn't have enough money on me to buy at least one Iphone. I was a dental student back then, who was eager to explore business without having a slightest clue on how it works. I remember this time Apple launched the new 3Gs iPhone. It was around 599 $ (USD) and that was far beyond my budget. So I searched the web seeking to find a decent price to come across a company who sells each 3gs iPhone for 250$. When I saw this I was like noway. I checked the company's legitimacy by searching for genuine reviews from real people to find over hundreds of people saying great stuff about it. Amazing videos from real people testimonials on how the company delivers iPhone 3gs around the globe. This company named Phone-link limited it was in Birmingham, UK.

I got more excited when they said this is a special offer (because of Christmas) that will end this month. So I rushed myself to call them on the provided UK phone number (on their official website). To find a decent guy named Mr. Hammad Ali replaying in a welcoming tone. My conversation was based on 3 simple questions?

- How much is Iphone 3gs?
- Do you deliver to Egypt?
- How do you take payments?

(( now if I had a time machine I would go back and slap me on the back of my head for being so stupid and naive for asking silly questions like that))

In order to get an iPhone for 250$ i needed to buy 4 (based on their offer). So I contacted some of my friends and they agreed to be included on that offer with me. They gave me the money and the next thing I was at western union sending 1000 USD to UK under the name of this company.

Transaction completed for the first time he called me and said; " thank you for your purchase, Mr Saleh. You will need to wait 7 business days" .... "You are welcome" .... "Mr Saleh we would like to offer you a free ipod on top of your purchase to become our loyal customer" ... "That is very generous thanks Mr. hammad" ((Conversation ended))

3 days later he sent me an email attached with it a piece of paper from Phonelink limited saying that all of my purchases are held at the UK customs and its needed to pay an estimate of 500 USD to free them. I was a bit furious to here this news! so here I was again at western union sending them the requested amount. A day later he called me and kept apologizing for the inconvenience and requested a 150 usd for shipping fees. Then I disagreed with complete temper so I ended the call and kept self thinking if this was all a big SCAM. My mind was so far away to believe its a fraudulent scheme. I ran to my all previous emails to analyze it more. To find a new notification message from him with a tracking number to all my purchased products. This dissolved any suspicion born during this momentum. It was a tracking number on "Flynex" company. So far I am back to my comfort zone I called him to resolve any misinterpretation from my behalf. However the call ended with him needing this 150 USD. So I said to myself the guy isn't lying and its my first time to proceed in stuff like this. Hours later, I Paid the amount needed.

It didn't end there and the story had many details that can be written down in 20 pages long. The courier delivery service "Flynex" wasn't really  a real company. It was a huge fake website that generated tracking numbers. It was very similar to Fedex only without the delivery. I contacted a friend to visit the provided address of "Flynex". Guess what it was a name of a guy who lived in the address they provided. The England authorities interfered to put an end to this. Not only because of my highly frequent reports to but along thousands around the world who got scammed too. However The wild part didn't come yet, there were actually a company named Phonelink limited in the given address on the official site. But the owners knew nothing about the site in their name nor the whole scam process. It did not end there. I began doing personal investigation tracking all messages I got from the whole beginning... I got shocked when I checked the IP it was sent from to find it wasn't from UK!

It was from Lagos, Nigeria. It seemed the suspect had a UK phone number running all this whole scam business offshore. Along with several assistants in UK and in Egypt. I don't know how he did it but the rest of details I skipped in my story was here in Egypt. He kept giving me Egyptian phone numbers telling me these are from Egyptian customs and your shipment is held there. They were native Egyptian speakers who kept giving me believable reasons on why my shipment was held. To be honest after hearing someone talking to me with my mother tongue it was a huge relieve to believe that it wasn't fraud. But I think this was an awful tasting experience that I had to get along that wrong path I was set. And it felt more painful than a brick hit on a bold wet head.

My dad was great help as he raised me up to move on from this awful experience. He supported me but with complete criticism and he was absolutely correct. Along with my mom's words to relief the ace of lack of self esteem that I dropped into. After getting myself into several deceptions along with fooling, cheating and ultimate lies. Their guidance were from another continent, another land but I guess their voice and guidance was so near to my heart to reclaim lost faith.

It is one thing to be deceived by another person, and quite another to "fool yourself" to belief that "another person". Finding myself became subject of manipulation and control defrauded from the truth. This doesn't mean I never been lied to before but usually lasted short term. A moment or two. But this took nearly a month. He was so good covering his dirt of lies and as the time my status of uncertainty and suspicious rose he dropped a blanket on it with powerful persuasion words and actions.

The old saying that "truth is stranger than fiction" couldn't be more accurate. Being deceived on such great scale making it for me a difficult time in comprehending the full extent. got controlled for a whole month by someone anonymous !!! how the fudge that happened!!? I was so angry at myself.

Then this turned me into reading this book "Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception". Every page I was reading I replied to it with a nodding. The author revealed all the dark corners and full explanation on the human mind. Especially when he mentioned the 3 following principles;

(1) The mind can protect itself against anxiety by dimming awareness.

(2) This mechanism creates a blind spot: a zone of blocked attention and self-deception.

(3) Such blind spots occur at each major level of behavior from the psychological to the social.

who reads this book should recognise dysfunctional aspects of themselves. Therefore I recommend to read it. However my journey did not end their I took it a challenge to learn what is the web? How do you market through the web? Is it reliable like any other business? How to differentiate between a legitimate and a scam website? This problem took me into a wild journey that opened my mind and eyes to diverse aspect of the human nature and behavior. My struggle has just started. I have to address that truth must spread by word of mouth, by we the people, or else it's never told. For that reason I wrote this story that contains critical information along with self-analysis to my reaction. I bet you might have a different point of view on how to react in a catastrophe like this. you are welcome to comment and share your thoughts. Thanks for reading