Right Stuff


Friday, May 18, 2018

Ramadan the month of Fasting

“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil.” The Holy Quran, 2:183

Ramadan is a month of fasting and prayers. The fast consists of total abstinence from food and drink from dawn to dusk. There is, however, a greater significance to fasts than mere abstinence from eating and drinking. The real objective of fasts is to inculcate in man the spirit of abstinence from sins and of cultivation of virtue. Thus, the Qur'an declares that the fasts have been prescribed with a view to developing piety in man, as is clear from the verse quoted. 

One of the primary benefits of fasting in Ramadan is a spiritual purification, the essential goal of Spirituality. Although we tend to think of the mind, body and spirit as separate components, in reality they are all connected and interrelated, and improvement in any one naturally effects improvement in the others as well. 

Fasting in Ramadan purifies the mind, body and spirit, leading to greater clarity, sensitivity and health.

Ramadan is not just about fasting or staying hungry and thirsty for one month, but much more. This is the month of piety and devotion. It’s main purpose is to learn self-control and strengthen willpower. Ramzan is the month in which we should guard against all temptations and evil.

Fasting is not for the stomach alone, it’s for the tongue too: one must not utter anything harsh — in anger, malice, spite or cruelty. Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink."
Fasting is for the eyes: one must guard oneself against being attracted towards evil and to raise one's voice if one witnesses oppression.
Fasting is for the body: one must not indulge in wrongful and illegal acts.
Fasting is for the heart and the mind: to remain engrossed in remembrance of God and spirituality and to increase one’s faith in God and remain steadfast.

Ramadan is the month for charity: for giving zakat and helping those who are needy.

However, Almighty does not want the people who are fasting to be inconvenienced either and in case one is sick or traveling, one can make up for it later by fasting.

If, as in my case, one can’t fast because of medical advice, one should offer the less privileged the meals that they would themselves have in the morning and evening, or give them the money to buy those meals with.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Personality traits of Powerful Leaders

When executives identify admirable leaders, they often underestimate their struggle with certain elements of their personality. In truth, most effective leaders had to work hard to manage their personality traits to get where they are today.

Leaders who transform businesses or communities source and wield incredible power to get things done. In the context, “Power” is defined as a “leader’s ability to inspire, mobilize and lead people towards remarkable success”.

But not all leaders can source and wield power. A title or a position can only go so far. So, what makes some leaders more powerful than others. There are countless personality traits that distinguish us from one another, some inherited while others are learned. According to recent research, powerful leaders possess five “innate” traits that help them source and wield power. They happen to possess these traits to a greater extent than the relatively powerless.

Relentless Focus

Powerful leaders seldom get distracted from the direction they want the organization to go towards. With a firm belief in their vision, they can focus their energies and efforts in a single direction to create momentum.

Sensitivity towards Others

Powerful leaders tend to be extremely empathetic towards others. Being sensitive doesn’t necessarily mean they act in a friendly fashion by agreeing to others views and opinions. Rather, powerful leaders are keen observers of human behavior. They are very strategic in letting sensitivity influence their decisions.


Many powerful leaders have enormous ability to work grueling hours. Depending on industry type, the average hours worked per week is generally between 60 and 65. Research shows that to be a powerful leader one must have both physical and mental endurance.


Powerful leaders can tactically navigate complex situations, thanks to their resilient personality. They can skillfully pitch the same idea using different tactics. While sometimes ‘resilience’ carries a negative connotation, powerful leaders consider it as a necessary characteristic. It provides them with the capacity to change course, rather than clinging to ideas that are not working.

Submerging One’s Ego

Leaders who transform businesses and communities are very good at building alliances and networks of friendships. They do so by having a knack for adapting their behavior to the needs of the occasion even when their ego gets in the way. In order to gain greater power and critical resources for their vision, powerful leaders can submerge their ego in situations that demand restraint. At the same time, powerful leaders can also engage in constructive conflict very artfully if it is in the best interest of the organization. You won't always find them pliable. They will fight for their ideas.

“Powerful leaders are like coaches of a winning team. They are perfectly comfortable not being at the podium”

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Is there really such a thing as “SHEEPLE” mentality — a tendency by vast majority of us to follow along mindlessly and without resistance? What's more unpleasant to see than the herd spirit in humans? The manipulation led to the stage when humans behave like dumb sheep. Many times, you may have wondered what the hell you were doing or how the heck you had got amongst a gang of seemingly idiots. A new research published shows that humans really flock like sheep and birds, subconsciously following just a bunch of individuals. Just 5 % of the crowd may herd, like cattle, the rest of 95 %.

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” -George Washington

Think about how entire populations follow enigmatic leaders, for better or for worse. While Hitler certainly was not loved by all Germans — and not all Germans were members of the Nazi Party — he certainly managed to captivate the vast majority of the German people, who followed him as he led a conquest of the European continent that caused the deaths of tens of millions of people and destroyed entire nations.

We tend to follow what other humans are doing. What’s more, down through human history, we have built institutions and recreations that feed into our crowd mentality, to provide us with “that dangerous, fascinating thrill.”

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” -Albert Einstein

We take this need of ours to be socially accepted and apply it to violent and destructive mob mentality such as riots, gangs and the mother of all mob mentality, war? Take military groups for instance. They are taught to be the ultimate conformers. Dress alike, look alike, walk alike, do what you are told when you are told and never question your “superiors”. For this they are called heroes, given guns and are encouraged to murder and torture their fellow human beings. The reward centers in their brains are going off the chart. So much so, that they will commit acts they never knew themselves capable of.

“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”

-Alexander the Great-

Fashion is another example. Remember the checked bell bottoms, side burns of the seventies? We roll our eyes and laugh at those styles today, but are our current styles really any better? Are we really any better at determining what is attractive now? Think of the current trend of wearing baggy jeans half way down your butt and a baseball cap worn sideways. Is that really attractive?

Yet millions of people dress just like that and are considered to be very stylish. Are our own ideas of beauty any less weird? Women, who appear to be on the brink of death by starvation, massive breasts filled with saline, huge lips filled with collagen: are these things truly more beautiful?

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism, the way you play it is free will.”

-Jawaharlal Nehru-

There is a little more science to explain why people will act in ways that go against their basic morals and beliefs. When people are part of a group they can deindividuate, (lose their self-awareness and sense of individuality), and get caught up in the emotional excitement and indulge in behaviours they would not engage in alone. They may not feel personally responsible for their violence as they perceive the violent action as “the group’s”. The bigger the mob, or group, the more they can lose their self-awareness.

“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -George Orwell

So, does this mean we are doomed to act like thugs and behave like violent sheep? Can we think for ourselves and not follow the pack? Yes, we can and it is easy. Being aware is enough. Know that when you refuse to conform your brain is going to alert you with “Error! Error! Undo immediately and reward me!”

Be aware that this is the reptilian part of your brain kicking in from days when conformity to the tribe was literally a life or death choice. It will pass. Very quickly. So, go ahead and be a rebel! Next time you are at a not so great event and the multitude leap to their feet to applaud, just sit there. Will people stare? Maybe, so what? Do you want to be manipulated by the crowd? This crowd or any crowd?

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” -Jiddu Krishnamurti-