Category: Dr. Saira

Do you have a vision for your life?

So many of us are caught in the hamster-wheel. Every morning we wake up, do our thing, meet people, relax if we can, and then go to sleep. The next day brings the same pattern, and maybe we occasionally do something fun on weekends. What I have learned is that without a clear vision for your life, the days become mundane, and those questions start creeping in.

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Do you understand the power of the youth?

I was asked a question today about how to engage young people. They are so vibrant, so creative, so full of potential, yet some of us who are a bit older feel disconnected from the youth in our families, neighborhoods, and cities. Years ago, I sat on the board for a not-for-profit agency dedicated to engaging youth through volunteering. The caliber of ideas, suggestions, and programming initiated by the youth that were discussed at our board meetings put our city hall’s program providers to shame. They were coming up with ways to include even the most disengaged, disadvantaged, and disillusioned amongst them. And they were doing it in fun, creative, and out-of-the-box ways. Young people have the ability to think innovatively and to challenge what the rest of us take for granted. And yet so often, we shut them up or shut them out. Below are my thoughts on how to engage the young people in your life, not only for their sake, but for yours. You will be amazed at how deeply your life will be enriched once you really give them a chance.

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Have you found your true love?

Does true love really exist? The classes I took in university taught me that the media, society, Bollywood and Disney have clouded my mind. Other people sold me the fairytale of true love, but no one taught me how to actually sustain it. After all, doesn’t it always end with “happily ever after”? Whether it’s Sandra Dee and Danny or Simba and Nala, couples everywhere are driving off into the sunset. But what about five years later? What about forty years later? Do people stay happily married or is it just a phase?

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How can you thrive in today’s economy?

In the olden days, we used to protect our businesses. We used to have secret sauces, trade secrets, and hidden dimensions in our companies, communities, and families. There were some proverbs about dirty laundry and early birds catching worms, and we competed to get ahead in our own industry, while blocking the competition. I have learned that the old model no longer works. Why? Because that old model is rooted in two dysfunctional concepts: competition and scarcity.

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Have you cleaned up your messes?

We all have them – the chores we hate. For some, it will be taking out the garbage, for others, sorting through the junk drawer, or my personal favorite, cleaning the bathroom. A Zen master once said: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I experienced this philosophy first-hand today as I was cleaning my bathroom. Let me explain. I want to be a person who approaches life with enthusiasm, and tackles challenges with an open mind. I am willing to learn from my mistakes, and I am willing to change as my life requires. Yet, when it comes to cleaning the bathroom, something in me freezes up. Don’t get me wrong – I love a clean bathroom. There’s nothing like the first shower after the tub has been scrubbed down, or the feeling of fresh bathmats under my toes. But thinking about all that nasty stuck around the toilet bowl, the dead skin lodged in the ring around the tub, and the stray hairs left over from brisk towel action, it all makes me cringe.

I have tried various approaches to deal with my aversion to cleaning the bathroom – hiring someone else to do it, guilting my husband into doing it, even making it a game for my two year old and I to play together (that’s right, honey, we scrub the floor with this vapourous rag, not the lazy-mom’s Swiffer). But there is something I forget when I am scheming to have someone else literally do my dirty work for me: the way we do anything is the way we do everything. So while I am looking for shortcuts in the cleaning department, I have to ask myself, what other short-cuts are happening in my life?

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Healing Relationships

You are a naturally social creature. But you are also a private being that needs time alone to reflect and re-charge. You will have a personal balance point of how much you want to be around others and how much alone-time you need. But whether you are a social butterfly or a wall-flower, how you interact with the people around you tells you something important about your belief system.


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