By Farkhanda Qaiser
We were still bubbling with the excitement of our success when breakout sessions on the many causes and implications of environmental degradation, were announced. I chose the session by Nigaar Nazar – the first Muslim woman cartoonist. Her central character is Gogi which she uses to create awareness among general public on various social and environmental issues. For this reason she has been placed on top of a list prepared by USA’s Cartoonist Rights Network. She has also done comic strips for many journals and television channels. However her work doesn’t stop here. Now, she has started an outreach programme which involves distributing the Gogi school bag among underprivileged students. This bag contains a collection of storybooks and comic strips with morals, made by her and targeting the young ones. One of her books is titled, ‘Kooray ka jin’ which emphasizes upon the importance of cleanliness. Another one deals with the threat of extremism and terrorism. Oh we should keep our children away from this nonsense, you may exclaim. But the fact of the matter is that we’re doing them more harm than good by keeping them unaware of the ground realities. They already see news of bomb blasts and suicide attacks on their idiot box everyday. Infact some of them have been direct affectees of these terror attacks too. So their education is necessary to ensure that they are not brainwashed too some day.
This was the session during which I realized the difference between a trainer and an expert. Mrs. Nigaar Nazar was an expert in her field but she was no speaker who’d know how to control the rowdy group of teenagers sitting before her. She was taking pains to explain her project while some people were simply mocking her and her work. This is our general attitude to change. We resist change and people who talk about change unless they are accomplished speakers like Umair Jaliawala and Kamran Rizvi who know how to tackle the crowd. However this must change too. We must learn to respect people for their work irrespective of the fact whether they can speak about it too. No doubt public speaking is an art which all should master. But we have no right to deride one who can not do so.
Next up was a session by Dr. Nadeem Abidi, an anesthetist and a Success Coach. He was speaking on different levels of leadership. From the dependent stage to the blame game and finally to the ‘Main hoon na’ level – where you take responsibility for everything you do and people depend on you to get a work done. Mr. Abidi then explained us a Cash flow quadrant which since then, I’ve explained to a lot of people because I found it highly helpful. Here it is:
Most people never come out of the left side of the quadrant. Either they don’t take direct control of their lives or they never utilize their maximum potential, and thus the unemployment that we decry. For this we may even blame our education system which encourages people to Ace in order to land a good job. But we have to ascend to a higher level of leadership. Being an employee means you have a job. Being self employed means you own a job. You have not more than 500 people working for you. You are a perfectionist and so are in direct contact with every single employee of yours even if it be a chowkidaar. Your employees are always less capable than you and you instruct them about each and every thing they do. This takes up a lot of time and so reduces the efficiency of the system. Moreover you are also working till late hours and so have less time for your family too. It involves 90 % people and earns 10 % money. On the other hand, the right side of the quadrant is for the people who are empowered. Business owners are people hunters. They choose the best talent to work under them. An excellent example is Bill Gates who dropped out of graduate school and now the best of the best work for his company, Microsoft. However freedom is achieved when a person becomes an investor, which involves a high degree of risk but at the same time, has great rewards too. The investor has assets which are earning money without requiring his presence. Now its 10 % manpower and 90 % money. So the choice is yours.
Mr. Nadeem Abidi has introduced a “Millionaire Mentorship Programme” for the people who wish to move to the right side of the quadrant. He was kind enough to offer this programme for free to the YLCians 2011. We really hope that more people can avail this opportunity and improve their lives for the better.
After that Mr. Abidi gave us all a power nap, while he talked to our hearts. Sleepy we were already so didn’t need much compulsion to go to sleep. Surprisingly, when he gave us all a wake up call a few minutes later, we awoke with a new vigor and without any signs of fatigue at all. I’d really like to know what he did to us. He was just talking slowly and without making much sense but we sure were refreshed after that. Then comes the best part of the session – the part that gave me conviction that I can do anything once I set my mind to it. This is what we said,
Ø Now I am the voice
Ø I will lead not follow
Ø I will believe not doubt
Ø I will create not destroy
Ø I am a force for Good
Ø I am a leader
Ø Defy the odds
Ø Set up a new standard
And say it we did. We kept saying it out louder and louder till we were convinced that we could do it. Mr. Abidi demonstrated the power of the mind and words by a simple activity. He called up a person on stage and asked him to say, “I will try to obey my parents,” while raising his one arm against force. His force was certainly lesser than when he said, “I will obey my parents.” So just by a play of words, our mind is convinced that we can or we can not do something. This is the power of the mind!
And so a great session ended. I emerged from it a completely different person and thirsting for more.
After that there was yet another activity planned by djuice. I call it the ‘Zipped up’ activity. As 2 members from every team were taken aside and their mouths were taped up. Then we teased them endlessly and tested their patience while they could not say a word about it. This enabled us to understand the helplessness that people feel when they are unable to voice their words.
However the Green day had not yet ended. We were in for still more surprises when we were told that we’d be setting up our dinner ourselves. Every team was given its own task. Some had to set up tables and dishes in the lawn. Others had to clean up after the dinner. Still others had to go around giving massages to people. But the dinner itself was very unique. It was the manifestation of a langar. There were neither any chairs or plates nor many varieties of food that we normally got at Sheraton. We were given spare newspapers in which we kept our rotis and spread daal on top of it and so ate like our poor brethren who are given free langar at darbars. It was a very spiritual experience and provoked us all to ponder over our extravagant lives and those of the less fortunate.
As djuice is a major sponsor of YLC so we performed yet another activity for Khamoshi ka boycott. Each team made 3-4 minutes plays highlighting any social aspect which needs to be corrected like traffic jams, the menace of dowry, smoking etc.
And finally we moved to the last session of the day which was by Sohail Zandani – another famous name in the training world. He had a unique style in which he asked questions and incited people to speak up. He believed in love for all and respect and appreciation for others. Further he advised us to stay hungry and stay foolish, which meant that always be eager to learn. He has established a Learning mind group for people who want to groom their personalities.
Thus the second day of YLC came to an end. Keep tuned in for more updates.