The Aftershocks of Markhor

I still remember, we drove off to Dunga Gali, and a bunch of delegates stood over at the cold, Crisp weather at the Mukshpuri hotel. Moments later we were asked to hand in over our cell phones or cameras or any electronic device that could distract us from the long journey that stood ahead in front of us. I’m not gonna lie, I was a tad bit annoyed over the fact of me not being able to snap chat the entire experience and make my friends jealous, or take some cool selfies whatsoever. But I had to submit to their orders and I did as told. And trust me when I say this, Handing my phone over was the BEST decision I ever made.
 Markhor taught me the beauty of life, how real life is and how happy we can be! It taught me that using your phone too often can get you depressed, get you bored and it even distracts you from the beauty of life and the real nature that you’re always missing out on! I can’t forget in taking those oh so real moments at Mukshpuri, the hike we had while it rained and we inhaled the sweet smell of rain absorbed by the fresh mud. Those beautiful green mountain peaks, purely genuine. No Instagram filters, no captions. It was too real and beautiful for it to be faked. I don’t think I’d ever be able to experience this while I had my phone being too distracted by the beauty of it all. And if that wasn’t enough we had several activities that touched us even more, one I recall that is my absolute favorite is the Freedom Bell. To be able to experience your entire life as if it were a movie, and to see all those moments you regret and missed out on because you were too captivated, still leaves me in tears – it directed towards a sad ending. However, fortunately we were still capable of changing that. From that point onwards I was sure that I had to choose another path, and make life worth living for. And I knew it was all up to me. 
 Markhor didn’t just leave me at that point, besides the speeches and the other activities and the bond we had with nature just enhanced our need to be more inspired. Fast forward I went home feeling better than ever! Of course I missed the entire experience a lot but I thought I’d rather smile over the fact that it did happen than be sad over it to end. And besides I wanted to LIVE with the inspiration Markhor injected inside me. From that point onwards I began to see life from a different angle, I used my phone barely, I started spending some quality time with my family and friends. I started visiting orphanages and old aged homes and I realized how thankful I should be for where I am today. I established an NGO and currently work for the homeless and street children of Pakistan, and I take pride in what I do!
 Markhor told me my home isn’t limited to my home. My home IS Pakistan! And I AM Pakistan, and if I won’t fix the problems we have in our home no one else will! It may take a while but I believe that with one heart touched we can make a difference.
 It’s not just me, however, who’s gone through the same situation and has changed through the coming years take an example of the following Markhor Alumni: Aarfah Sabah quotes “after attending Markhor, I joined my cousin for a great cause” (Arfa is now working for the conservation of wildlife and has already trained 45 kids aged 9-13 to recycle and bird watch). “There is still more to bring!” she quotes.
 Ali Raza Ul Islam says “I started a leadership conference in my university, that has been functioning for the past 2 years and I’ve already trained 200 students.”
 Aakif Azeem an APS survivors quotes: “I will take the experience I gained and use it to take people out of depression, and bring them back to life.” Aakif has already managed to cure 25 chronic depressed patients. 
 To check out more of these young inspiring Markhored alumni, visit our page on Instagram @markhor.conference

Unity through diversity

Let’s take a closer look at what these two keywords actually mean; Unity: joined as a whole. Diversity: variety. Hmm, seems pretty different now doesn’t it? It actually puzzles my mind as to how far apart these two words can be in terms of what they mean, but also how close and how important of an impact both of these words COMBINED can turn out to be. 
I actually have a theory! I think the word diversity means the variety of races of mankind we have in this world, including black, white etc etc. and I think the word unity means ‘the human race.’
You see using the word diversity I just explained and differentiated and divided the human race by a few examples, and with the word Unity I didn’t classify any one as a separate entity but instead I put each and everyone under the name of ‘the human race.’ Now what amuses me is how powerful both these very different words can actually turn out to be when put together. Imagine! The entire world working together and UNITED! Regardless of their sect, their race, their color, their religion, but instead all working for the sake of being a simple plain human being.
Just think of how many problems would we be excluded from this world if there was no such thing as racism? Fewer wars, lesser crimes, lesser.. Hatred? 
With the exact phrase ‘unity through diversity’ Youth Impact has taken this as a motto for this year’s Markhor 2017. Over the years we’ve had themes such as: fit for Pakistan in 2015 and as well as ‘what’s your impact?’ In 2016. This year as most of you know it’s going GLOBAL. It’s bigger than ever! Why not take this very phrase and bring it to life? People from almost all over the world, given the motivation and the incentive to work for another, to be peaceful, to cause no harm, to understand the cultures and set aside their differences and be the change makers! 
Youth impact itself has been having a knack, or more like an ‘experience’ I’d like to call it, to groom young individuals from all over the country, regardless of their province or city or culture, each and every being has been motivated to work for the cause of humanity, to work for the betterment of the country. We don’t see where you’re from or why, we just know you’re human (that’s why you’re reading this) and that’s enough for us to know! There’s enough hatred in this world, let’s join heads and spread love with unity through diversity.

SMART WORK MAKES HIM A LEADER

A leader has to be more careful and committed than his team for a certain responsibility. He has to make sure that all members of team are on the same page. It is his job to provide extra motivation to potentially weak members of the team. It is his duty to eliminate the gap between the weak and strong members of his team. So many things to do, still he gains the trust of his team and proves to be a good leader. Ever wondered how he does it? The secret is hidden in his ability to do small things in a smart way. He knows the areas where he needs to put in his efforts. This makes his work efficient.

Image source: http://www.quotehd.com/quotes/robert-half-quote-the-combination-of-hard-work-and-smart-work-is-effic

 

A leader makes sure he is seen, heard and actively followed by his team/followers. A leader mostly faces tough situations and less time to cope with them. He consciously forms a team of best individuals to get work done. He chooses his people smartly and while interacting with his team understands who is better in which area, this make it easier for him to delegate the authority. With so many diversified people and differences of opinions between the team members, he still gets the best out of the team though smart strategies. He is able enough to get the positive out of the conflicting nature of his team members. This is what makes him a leader.

-Farwah

https://www.facebook.com/FarwahMuhammad.9

LEADERSHIP AND DELIBERATE PRACTICE

Ever wondered what makes him a leader? A leader possess extraordinary power of deliberate practice, extra sense of social responsibility and a tendency to proactively search for pressing practical problems around him and work for their solutions.

Be it his charming personality which captivates the followers or his or his dominancy that is enjoyed by the submissive followers a leader always has this extra responsible nature and power of deliberate practice that gains him trust among the followers.

Deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance.

Image Source: http://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/deliberate-practice.html

For deliberate practice to be effective one needs to break the shell he builds around him, get out of his comfort zone, learn the art of learning and unlearning and try to maintain a focused behavior. Focus? Yes it is mentality draining activity if continued for long. This calls for motivation and will power. Will power is one’s natural talent however motivation can be internal or external. All these basic ingredients blend to form an amalgam which is necessary for deliberate practice.

-Farwah

https://www.facebook.com/FarwahMuhammad.9

 

This story impacted me and my friends, will it impact you too?

Never knew we could really get to experience the feeling of actually being impacted by something, or having a purpose or having a sudden mind shift. It seemed nearly, remarkably impossible. But it happened, and here’s how.

Let’s get to the part of me actually figuring out my purpose at a .. Dhaba (sounds weird but just keep reading) Me and my friends finally get to hang out with each other once again after so long. Those tragic university exams were finally over. We swore to eat desi like never before, and so we did we ordered our food just the way we liked it. Fast forward our food was served when we figured we were missing out on some soft drinks I make a hand gesture to the waiter asking for drinks cause my mouth was to full to scream. (The waiter held his hand up in the air and yells ‘chotu.’ (Little one) a little boy aged 14 almost would bring this crate of drinks in his hands. But he seemed tired or sad.. Maybe it was because of the work. My friend playfully asks the kid why he was so down. To which he replies ‘if you’d really like to know sir, please meet me outside the Dhaba after you’re done with your meal.’ We were amused, but we did as he said, we ate and then headed over to the kid.

There he stood head down. Again the same question was placed but this time the emotions from the receiver’s end was different he had tears in his eyes saying ‘sir, I know this might sound fake or bizzare to you but I’m in desperate need for a loan of 500 RS, I need to pay for my brothers tuition fee, that’s the only reason I work, he’s already been kicked out of school for a week due to late fee reasons, his fee is due the next two days and if I don’t get it for him he may be suspended.’ He explained in his language. My friends gave me the glare telling me it’s a scam and that he was just bluffing. But a soft part of me couldn’t bare those tears, however despite what my friends said i gave him the money, he happily takes it and says to come and get it in two weeks which was due date for his wages. I knew at the back of my head that would never happen, but I still nodded for his satisfaction. I listened to my friends telling me how stupid I was entirely on the way back home.

Finally it was the day, it was time to get my supposed money that I lent, I wasn’t looking forward to go but my friends insisted so they could have the last laugh, again at how much of an idiot I was that day, we made our way through the Dhaba ordered a good old lassi and waited patiently trying to spot the kid, none of us could see him, my friends were already giving me the ‘told you so’ smirk. At that point I thought I had been played. I threw that thought aside still mad at myself, we were leaving the Dhaba when at that point I see the same kid running and saying from behind. ‘Sir!! Please wait!’ I turn around with my friends to see the exact same kids holding 500RS happily. My and my friends were amused and we felt terrible at that point, how much of jerks we had been.. That moment, It was too good to be true.

Today 2 of my friends from the same friend circle- work at Akhuwat foundation where interest free loads are provided to under privileged people in Pakistan while me and another friend of mine are currently teaching street kids for free of cost in hopes for establishing an organization to help the under privileged. The day changed our lives to this point, and I’m thankful it did.

Well This was my purpose, did you figure out yours yet?

 

I found out my impact, but what’s yours?

Impact, —hmm — seems so simple and plain a word. Never knew these 6 letters could actually have an ‘impact’ (pun intended) But they did, trust me they actually did, and it’s so much more than that. Let’s fast forward to me actually figuring my purpose at “Markhor’s freedom bell.”

I was asked to close my eyes, and take a deep breath, relive my moments, I thought it was absolutely bizarre honestly, but I played along. There was a deep but oh-so-calm voice that took us all down the walk of the memory lane. It stopped being bizarre for a moment, it was actually making sense. No! It can’t be, is this a dream? How is it so real?

When we were asked to think about all the things we did in life; the good and the bad. I think to myself: ‘Okay let’s see how this goes, it’s worth a shot’

 

Normal 18-year-old, sheepishly wakes up late from her daily routine, plays video games, surfs the internet, and watches tv? Lol my bad, who does that anymore #Netflix #And #Chill. All the usual things. That went on for a while. Until suddenly it took a deep, dark turn. We were asked to imagine how we grew up taking our first steps, falling into our parents’ arms, and along the way the so many people that stood by us. And suddenly that same voice creates a scenario of us being… Dead? ..

What? No! But I’ve got so much to do this isn’t right! I can see my parents crying I want to stop it, my friends who I haven’t seen in such a long time they’re right there but I was to blind to see I was so distracted by technology. My grades dropped, I never payed attention. I took my parents for granted, everything for granted. I end up in tears. Devastated at what I did, to my OWN life!

At that point, I see a little boy maybe aged 8-10 and he apologizes to me. I look up in awe, and I question about why he apologized. What he says next leaves me traumatized. “Remember once you were on the road driving, and I was at the signal when your car stopped at the red light, and all I asked was for some money but you yelled at me, telling me I was a failure. I had to pay for my brother’s tuition fee actually, I couldn’t though, he got kicked out of school. I cried when I failed, your words hit me and you were right, but I prayed to God that someday you’d realized that crying on that street that day hurt me. I’m sorry. I truly am but I guess karma has its ways.’ I immediately wake up I couldn’t stand it, how selfish was I? How could have I been ignoring my surroundings because I was so glued into my phone. I was furious I wanted it to stop, I wanted it to be over.

But then I thought instead of praying for it to end, why don’t I start from the beginning, at day I changed, I changed my heart. I thought of the person should be. Today I stand at being one of the top volunteers at Teach for Pakistan where I teach English and Math for free to street children, I aim at opening a school ahead for the under privileged.
Source: hopeandfortune.com

That one day had an impact. That’s my impact, Have you figured out yours?

When the going gets tough, The tough get going!

Image Source: brainyquote

“LIFE is a mosaic of pleasure and pain – grief is an interval between two moments of joy. Peace is the interlude between two wars. You have no rose without a thorn; the diligent picker will avoid the pricks and gather the flower. There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless.”
~ Sathya Baba ~

Life is like a kaleidoscope, a unique fusion of happiness and sorrow; an intricate mosaic of pleasure and pain, neither all grey nor all blue. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows but rather a beautiful blending of light and dark. Human existence is comprised of an interweaving web of joy and despair; a web from which we cannot escape. Some days it might bless you with heights of euphoria and some days it might beat you to your knees and at that time what you have to remember is that man is a passable mixture of middling qualities and honest failings. It’s all about how strong you stand not how hard fall, how much you can endure and keep moving and how resilient you emerge out of suffering. That is why when the going gets tough, the tough get going! They are the ones who realize that:

“No pressure, no diamonds.”

-Thomas Carlyle

Image Source: krexy

Tough times don’t last; it is our attitude towards them that lasts forever. Everyone has a choice to either get defined by their afflictions or get refined by them. It’s all about how you perceive your experience. You can either empower yourself from your sufferings and stand tall like a true survivor or feel sorry for yourself and stay struck in self-pity. There is only one person who can decide that, either the hardships will destruct you or construct you, and that person is YOU!

Image Source: pinterest

When life gets tough, tough people arise and stand dauntlessly in the face of adversities. Strong people never let the hardships torment their souls; rather they feel pain, accept it, learn from it and fight through it. They understand that greater the mountain is, more is the joy and glory in surmounting it. They take a short break, muster up courage, dust themselves off, turn their experience into wisdom and get back to life to fight like never before. Tough people take their setbacks as blessings because they believe that every struggle in life is to shape them into an incredible person. Strongest of people are those who: “let perseverance be their engine and hope their fuel” (-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.) because they know that:

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self, so therefore, trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.”

– Khalil Gibran

Image Source: pinterest

Tests of life are to judge the stance of man. Anyone can successfully live an easy life with no big obstacles to pass and neck-breaking setbacks to overcome, but it takes a tough person to patiently bear the worst of nightmares becoming true. Only men of strength hold the integrity of surpassing life-challenges with chins up and heads high.

 

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tough people know that even the worst of our days have only 24 hours and the hauling night has never won in defeating the breaking dawn. They hold a firm belief that this too shall pass, paving up the road to an extraordinary destiny.

Image Source: buzzle

Winners never quit and quitters never win so the essence of life lies in the realization of the fact that every human is an epitome of myriad wonders who can triumph over hardships and bear unimaginable tragedies with such valor and glory that makes the universe struck in awe!

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

(Christopher Robin to Pooh – A.A.Milne) 

Image source: zazzle

 

-Mahnoor Tariq

https://www.facebook.com/mahnoor.tariq.3910

One Man Can!

Image Source: brainyquote

Your life is a ONE MAN SHOW! You are the writer of your fate; the director of your soul, the producer of your destiny and the hero of your own life. Indeed you are a celestial creation, blessed with the divine power to glorify the universe with your uniqueness. So, can you even imagine what this “ONE MAN CAN?”   Now it’s up to you, whether you turn your life into a striking blockbuster or let it be a flop washout, but the secret is, my dear:

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

 

You hear the demeaning noise of a sarcastic laughter all around: “Ah! One man can never…!” Don’t you ever believe that because all the discoveries, the inventions, the revolutions, the nature, and thus the universe itself says: “Yes! One Man Can!”. From Jinnah’s perseverance for creation of Pakistan to Edhi’s matchless services for humanity. From Martin Luther King realizing his dream of “social indiscrimination in America” to the rebellious Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara . From the ground-breaking works of Stephen Hawking to the tech-giants Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, it is quite evident that one person can make such a colossal difference that impacts till eternity. History has manifested such countless examples that we can never deny the overwhelming power of “ONE-MAN”.                                                                            Image Source: idlehearts

“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person. ”
― R. Buckminster Fuller

The truth is that, to make a dent in the universe, you don’t have to be a superhero. You don’t even have to directly influence thousands of people. Just a trickle can make a huge difference. Think about it. When one person influences a few others, there are two major effects:

  1. A ripple effect that, over time, can actually impact thousands over generations.
  2. A broadening effect since one person influences many, like multiplying tree branches.

So, you have the opportunity to transcend from a disempowered mindset of existence to an empowered reality of purpose-driven living. This life has been handed to you for shaping it for the benefit of entire creation, you have the tools, you have your own, unique skills and you have been endowed with the potential to make your life a masterpiece. This is why we say: “One Man Can!”

Image Source: pinterest

The power of one is above all things the power to believe in yourself. Become your own first fan. Believe the magic your soul holds and embrace yourself. You are the director of your soul so your brain is the boss-organ which must direct the body to aim higher, run faster, jump higher, shoot straighter, kick better, swim harder, hit further, box better and achieve greater. Make a statement of intent to be who you want to be. Make people feel better and lighter. Turn your anger, greed and ignorance into generosity, compassion and wisdom.  Acknowledge others and relieve the distressed. Become a ladder to harness the power of many. In this self-consumed world, instead of being a mere spectator, play your part by being the change you wish to see. Thus One Man Can make a difference and everyone should try!                                                                                 Image Source: pinterest

-Mahnoor Tariq

https://www.facebook.com/mahnoor.tariq.3910

MARKHOR – The Youth Refinery

Refining is the process of purification of a substance by removal of impurities and unwanted elements; whereas refinery is a facility where raw substances are transformed into value-added products. This is what we already know, but have you ever thought that why do we need to refine things? Refining is not a choice it is a necessity because the things that are raw become more useful, more applicable, and more valuable, when refined!

Since childhood we have had known oil refineries, sugar refineries and metal-refineries, today let me introduce you to a one-of-its-kind refinery:

MARKHOR – The Youth Refinery

An oil refinery refines crude oil into more useful products such as petroleum, naphthagasolinediesel fuelheating oilkerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas. A sugar refinery processes raw sugar into white refined sugar with pure sucrose. A metal refinery purifies impure metals. Similarly MARKHOR is a youth refinery that refines the raw youth through wilderness based learning into quality humans. Making youth more useful, more capable, more perishable, more valuable, and unshakable!

Considering the example of oil refining, generally three major types of operations are performed to refine crude oil into finished products.

  1. Separation
  2. Conversion
  3. Treatment

 

Separation

In the first step of oil refining, molecules are separated through atmospheric distillation, according to their molecular weight, to get different products. Similarly MARKHOR fractionates diverse groups of youth into tribes named upon desired character traits for leadership such as compassion, empathy, selflessness, altruism, positivity, and more for a simulated activity-based teaching by providing critical tasks and completing them together while representing their assigned traits.

 

Conversion

In reference to oil refining there are still many heavy hydrocarbon molecules remaining after the separation process. To meet demand for lighter products, the heavy molecules are “cracked” into two or more lighter ones. The conversion process is carried out at 500°C in the presence of a catalyst. Similarly MARKHOR trains youth with brain-teasing activities, mind-boggling sessions, a series of projects, debates, discussions and keynotes that allow cross flow of ideas boost self confidence, develop interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, refine mental capabilities and unleash leadership potential within youth. As a catalyst is used in breaking of hydrocarbons, likewise, training at high altitudes, rugged mountains, harsh climate and food deficit act as catalysts that develop in youth the spirit to fight uncertainties of life with virtue and dignity.

Treatment

The final step of oil refining is treatment that involves removal or reduction of impurities that are corrosive or cause air pollution, finally yielding high-octane products. Just like that MARKHOR refines the youth by removing and reducing unhealthy character traits such as pessimism, over-criticism, anxiety, procrastination, discontentment, and irresponsibility. From strolling slopes to climbing mountains, from making your own bedding to securing a shelter and cooking your own food, MARKHOR through mother nature teaches us to hope for a sunny morning after heavy snowfall, to relish bonfire on a cold night after a long exhausting climb, to stop whining about little life obstacles, to learn the art of contentment and modify life perspectives! Just like the high-octane products obtained at end, the ultimate refined product of MARKHOR, the youth refinery, is a quality human.

Image Source: unltd

 

 

This is how MARKHOR teaches youth to follow the blue-prints of nature since nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with in our individual lives. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. After billions of years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival. Biomimicry is a trending scientific approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. Biomimicry helps create products, processes, policies and new ways of living that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.

 

Image Source: likesuccess

 

From the production of mushk from refined blood in male deers to the production of pearls in oyster, From beautiful creation of diamonds from compressed coal to the mystical creation of man from refined, clot of congealed blood, divine nature is full of examples of refining and so is MARKHOR – The Youth Refinery, guiding us to mimic the nature, blending biology, psychology, creative problem solving, and systematic thinking to refine youth!

 

-Mahnoor Tariq | https://www.facebook.com/mahnoor.tariq.3910

 

 

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AZ_qJI3jV6exrDapBUEqK67Yu5kTgxEPf9Qd8Fnt77dYDksvZ7rnFkQ/

Leadership is a capacity to rouse or impact others towards an objective through which they can make positive changes in the society. A leader has an extraordinary convincing power through which he can manipulate others’ minds to do what is best for the benefit of humanity.

Every society needs good leaders because leaders are those who take the 1st step towards change. Leaders are the one who are not afraid to leave their comfort zones. They set some standards for themselves and never compromise on his standards at any cost. “A good leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” — Vince Lombardi

Everyone can become a leader through the process of observation, learning, and teaching. Leadership is a set of skills that can be learned by perception, training, practice, and experience over time. Social growth of any nation depends on its leaders because leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts but is about one life influencing other. Leaders influence others through their actions not through their words.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/af/e2/96/afe29613f25e2f4c7a94be756792971f.jpg

 

Leadership is a great investment in social growth because if any nation has great leaders then it has bright future and many examples to inspire others to leave their comfort zone and set out to play their role in the society.

————————–

Usman Ashraf | https://www.facebook.com/usman.ashraf.7528

Little drops of water make the mighty oceans

Standing at the river side or walking beside the beach envying the beauty of river and sea have you ever wondered to whom this beauty really belongs? It’s the beauty of each and every drop in the sea that makes it sparkle, that makes it wave with confidence along its fellow droplets. Together these drops can do wonders if given the right direction.
But when the same drop is separated from the rest droplets you will not even notice it you will not even know about its existence near you.

Image Source: https://annegudrun.com/anne-gudruns-blog/

But you should not be like that drop of water because you are not the drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop. You must be portraying your true might as the ocean’s abilities to prove that.
If you are a student you must be very aware of the importance of this little drops of water make the mighty oceans because of that sath sath parhny wala kam or that roz ka roz parhna hy. Students even confuse that if they are genius they don’t have to bother much about the study things much. But that’s a big mistake.

Image Source: http://beastmotivation.com/hard-work-beats-talent/hard-work-beats-talent/

Every drop adds to the making of an ocean. Every practice counts. No matter how much of natural talent you have, what really matters most is the time and effort you put in.
You can see many people around you holding positions of leadership and influencing those who do little or nothing with that talent. There are also people who go about their daily lives, making huge impact on the people around them. You can be the King of the World and have nothing to show for it. But you can also be a teacher, a custodian, a family doctor, an artist, an engineer etc. and change someone’s life.
It’s all about the start. Making someone smile. Being someone’s friend. Beginning a movement.
Hamna Sajjad | https://www.facebook.com/haleena.rose

Aspire to Inspire

How glorious is the word “spire”-meaning the highest point or summit. When you just one more letter to make it “ASPIRE,” it becomes your ambition and when you mould it into “ INSPIRE,” it turns into influence. Aspiration kindles the fire of passion in your heart to achieve an aim whereas inspiration instills an urge of creating, amplifying, and exalting influence.

“Aspire to inspire the change you want to see”
Image Source: aspiretoinspirecollaborativeblog.wordpress.com

Man exercises dominion in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness over all other creations, being the representative of God on Earth. You have been sent to this world for a purpose, you are gifted with a brain to conquer the universe, to strive and make wonders. You are empowered to use your capabilities to change people and glorify the world – in short, you are beautifully bound to ASPIRE to INSPIRE!

Different people have different aspirations, goals, and aims. The holiest of all, I believe, is inspiring others: striving to make a difference, nurturing the best version of yourself to become the light of hope for others, motivating, encouraging, and influencing the people around. Isn’t this the best legacy we can leave behind?

Image Source: moregarden

People who “ASPIRE to INSPIRE” reach beyond themselves and live lives that are more meaningful and successful. Such characters always tend to:
Build people: Help others build their own road to success. Appreciate people for their little achievements and deliver constructive criticism only. Learn to celebrate people! Small compliments have a way of brightening any day, regardless of the dark shadows that may be overhead.

You don’t believe me? Find someone in your surrounding wearing a frown, tell them how cute they look today, and watch a bright smile take over their face.

Listen:

Listening is a channel to catharsis. In the modern era where no one has time to listen TO others, lend an ear, whole-heartedly. When you listen to the people around you, you show them that they matter, and that their ideas are worth hearing. Plus, you’ll better understand what they care about, and what their goals are and you’ll better understand how to motivate and inspire them.

Support:

Support the struggle of others. Help them cultivate the dreams of their own. Many people are only a step away from success. They just need a little hope and somebody who believes in them. So those who aspire to inspire tend to support others.

Be Enthusiastic:

Passion is something you must be willing to express if you want to inspire others. As it is said “enthusiasm is contagious,” reflect enthusiasm to the people you interact with. You never know when your enthusiasm becomes a motivation for someone to aspire their own dreams.

Be Authentic:

Be true to yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths, and beauty like no one else.  Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms.

Lead:

Those who inspire lead by example. They personify the change they want. They practice what they preach and walk the talk! One of the best ways to help others live meaningful, significant, lives is to set an example by living that kind of a life yourself.
Help people heal:

Help people dive out of their past and mend them into a better self to secure a brighter future. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else find happiness and suffer less.

 

Communicate:

Effective communication is the gateway to better understanding and thus a long lasting influence. Clearly convey what you mean and mean what you say. Share your vision and ideas often with those around you.
Share: Be a resource to those around you. What books have turned you into the person you are? What sources of inspiration help guide the most important decisions in your life? How did you become the happy, healthy, positive person you are today? Share the influences that shaped who you are so others can also benefit. Mine the rich experiences of your life and share your wisdom from your unique point of view.  Be vulnerable.  Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. Others will relate to you.
“With aspiration, we see on the horizon what is possible, what can be achieved. “With inspiration, we whistle while we do the work. It puts the sparkle in our eyes” and enriches our soul. When we add in the right mix of inspiration and aspiration, something magical happens: Purpose ensues, success breeds more success and lofty goals are achieved. What we aspire to do stirs inspiration in others to join in.” So shouldn’t we ASPIRE TO INSPIRE?

“Don’t just be able; always make sure you are available. Be present to make a change.

Don’t just be alive; once you have arrived, find the reason why and make that reason accomplished.

Don’t just wish; be passionate about what you wish to see happen. Rise up and make it happen.

Don’t just be making a living; make a life and leave an indelible footstep wherever you step.

Don’t just create; create to change; change to improve; improve to increase. Aspire to inspire”

( Israelmore Ayivor,)
-Mahnoor Tariq
https://www.facebook.com/mahnoor.tariq.3910

Going beyond limits- The Markhor Spirit

Actions are something through which you can surprise yourself and accomplish things you had once only wished for, or achieve and understand something you believed was incomprehensible. Frequently we surmise that once we make progress or satisfy our fantasies, we then get the prize of staying “there” for whatever is left of our lives.

After achieving something we want we often stop thinking about achieving better and become reluctant. Really, there is no “stop,” we’re generally a work in progress with new statures to go after and new achievements before us. Regardless of the amount we accomplish, new snags will introduce themselves and to changing degrees our questions, fears and hesitations will go with them.

Image Source: http://www.fueldabook.com/fuelisms/we-lose-ourselves-in-the-things-we-love-we-find-ourselves-there-too-kristin-martz

These fears and hesitations are obstacles that stop you from getting you goals in life

You must stop focusing on problems but on your goals and you must believe in yourself, you must believe that through hard work and consistency you can achieve your goals. To achieve you goals you must break your limits and to break your limits you must make yourself a man of action.

Regardless of whether you’ve ever gone past your impediments or just barely planned to, it’s something we all can do. Now and again we simply require some additional help and a decent lift. You will know your limits when you try to extend them and even then, you must continue to break out of your comfort zone to achieve more and more. To break your limits, you must remember that nothing is impossible, you must believe in yourself, you must clarify you intentions, you must make a decision, you must be realistic, you must have a plan, and you must stick to the plan.

https://www.facebook.com/usman.ashraf.7528s

My ImpACT has Impacted Pakistan

There’s more to the word Impact than meets the eye: Break it down and you get ‘Imp Act’ where I think lies the whole idea behind this word: One tiny impact, could lead to YOUR important Act! An act that just doesn’t affect you, but others around you. It’s contagious and that’s the best part. Fast forward, (more like fast rewind), I still remember, it was 2008, our family shifted to Mardan Cantt. (my dad was in the military and we had to move with him) I was around 7.

A little 7-year-old girl who believed in fairy tales, thought unicorns really did run over rainbows with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow owned by a leprechaun. Everything was perfect…or at least I thought so (or was it just me being selfish?) I loved bakeries and the smell of freshly baked goods. Mardan was a small town so they had few bakeries. But one of them was my absolute preference, always. I visited it more than 2 times a week. Loved it.

Everyone knew me there. They even knew my usuals! One unfortunate day, I went there again, happily as always, got what I wanted. I always had this constant urge to meet everyone working at the bakery before I left, and I did so. I left. Within a minute with me looking at the rear-view mirror of my car, all I see is a cloud of smoke and fire. And I hear screaming.

The bakery exploded.

I remember having tragic sleepless nights, unstable mental health. The incident was an end to many beautiful lives, but was the core beginning to my impact.

We moved to the US for a couple of years, I came back to Pakistan being around 9 back then, I envied the fact how the media portrayed the United States as a ‘peaceful’ country, and Pakistan as a horrific one. The red flashing lights, the breaking news, all seemed so familiar to me. Pakistan experienced a flood during that time, and it was at that point it hit me, seeing people die due to being deprived of basic necessities.

How could I ever be so selfish to let kids my age just starve to death? They’re our future. I’m Pakistan’s future and I had to help. I wrote a book at the age of 9, collected a huge amount of money, and donated it to the food victims. All this was done within a month. Writing, publishing, selling, marketing, everything. Sounds crazy, isn’t it? That’s what they tell me.

That was just the beginning to my road to help Pakistan. I carried forward my little charity works and campaigns. In 2015, I established my own NGO, and ever since I’ve been trying to be content at heart to help everyone to the fullest. I’m working on one of the biggest possible projects that I could currently be aiming for. I partnered up and came up with this idea in a wilderness-based leadership conference (You guessed it) Markhor.

I can that like Markhor taught me my purpose in life, and it just groomed me to be better, not just for myself but for my surroundings. It keeps me motivated. And I think I’ve reached this point with the right amount of dedication that Markhor has injected in me. I’ll be able to pull off the impossible In Sha Allah. And I’m so grateful to Allah that Youth Impact found me, and invited me to Markhor and actually acknowledged what I was doing, it just makes me want to continue with my works for Pakistan with even more excitement. I’m sure I’m not going to stop serving my country, I’ll stick to it, and I’ll fulfill the purpose of my impact, until it impacts Pakistan.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DamnAaylish

Wilderness-The Perfect Teacher

Language defines wilderness as:

“A name given to the most pristine wild lands left on the earth, uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable.”

Whereas all I discovered is that wilderness is a breathtaking mosaic of nature that is brutally honest and completely raw but above all A PERFECT TEACHER!

Image Source: https://sayingsaboutlife.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/you-will-find-something-more-in-woods-than-in-books-trees-and-stones-will-teach-you-that-which-you-can-never-learn-from-masters/

 

 

A teacher cultivates dreams, inspires hope, encourages minds, broadens imagination, kindles passion and instills the love of learning in a child. Quite similarly, WILDERNESS nurtures your soul and touches your heart, teaching life-long lessons by letting you witness nature in the flesh, in its most epic form. As Wordsworth, the high priest of nature, said:

“One impulse from a vernal wood

May teach us more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.”

Self-Discovery:
Just like a teacher who digs out the hidden potential of a child and shows them the right direction to bloom, WILDERNESS teaches you the art of self-discovery. Mighty mountains standing with full grandeur, tranquil waters of flowing streams, rustling leaves signifying re-birth, enchanting landscapes, splendid night-sky and purest shades of nature all seem to whisper the smallest of symbolic clues about life. The way wild-plants bear extreme weathers or the lonely eagle flies high above sky, struggling for survival, each one of us finds their own parallelism to the problems we face as individuals, ultimately leading to a journey of self-discovery.

Image Source: http://www.quotehd.com/quotes/alan-alda-actor-quote-you-have-to-leave-the-city-of-your-comfort-and-go-into

⦁ Flexibility:

You may have flaunted your flexibility up till now. But let me kindly disagree. Unless you grow through raw nature, far beyond the luxurious, high-tech world, striving for your very existence while facing ruthlessness of its wild side, you carry in yourself the chronic rigidity of civilized ideals in your muscles and your bones just as much as I do. WILDERNESS teaches you flexibility to endure all kinds of crucial circumstances within its restricted resources and successfully outlive all odds in ever-changing stages of life.

Hope:
As we climb mountains, there will be times when we fall down. When there’s a stream to cross, and no bridge.  When there are boulders in front of us that seem insurmountable. And we might get hurt. We might have to turn around or look for another way. This is how WILDERNESS gives us the lesson of hope. Obstacles are a part of life and we’ll most certainly encounter them. We’ll stumble along the way in life. Our egos will be bruised. We might be broken financially or emotionally, but there always is a hope that there will be light at the end of tunnel!

⦁ Self-Reliability:
From strolling slopes to climbing mountains, from making your own bedding to securing a shelter and cooking your own food, WILDERNESS will teach you self-reliance. You’ll feel more independent, solving your own problems, and making your own decisions self-sufficiently.

⦁ Patience:

Wind, rain, crazy gradients; no matter what you battle with, this is nature’s way of teaching you patience. No matter how hard a mountain is to climb, there are so many paths to the top.  Some are harder than others.  And some seem all but impossible. But what goes up, must come down. As you battle gravity while climbing, remember that it will soon be on your side. With effort, your mountain peaks (goals) in life are reachable – all you need is patience.

⦁ Problem-Solving:
No matter how sure you are about things you planned for survival in wild, once you have the stick in your hands, a certain weight over your back, and wind determined to make you back-off, you realize that, “Nature does all the work”. That’s when you’ll need to quickly strip all your mental mess down to ditch the hitch. This is how WILDERNESS teaches you effective problem-solving.

⦁ Agility:
When you can’t sleep whole night because you haven’t accurately hooked up your camp and the snow is committed enough to give you frostbite, this is how, after experiencing WILDERNESS your own reactions gradually become faster and you become more exquisite in your own battles. WILDERNESS teaches you how to respond quickly to sudden ups and downs of life and take life-saving steps to secure your future. You see yourself needing lesser resources, fewer hours of work, and even way lesser clothes, outfits, and/or adornments.
⦁ Resilience:
WILDERNESS teaches you the resilience required to face the odds of life fearlessly. A mountain represents both a high point and a low point.  While climbing a mountain, there will be spots where you are going up, and then need to change direction and go down in order to continue to the peak. Life is just like this.  There will be ups and there will be downs.  The important thing to remember through it all is where we’re headed on our life journey and keep on with the perseverance with which we struggle for the peak we’re aiming for.

⦁ Social-Responsibility:
WILDERNESS – free of slightest of human impact is an example of how “raw” something can be unless it is impacted effectively. Thus, wilderness indirectly teaches us the dire need to impact others to refine their raw abilities and makes us realize our social responsibility to impact the rest of world.

⦁ Serenity:
WILDERNESS feels like home! It has a mystical pull that is nourishing and fortifying for the human spirit. Coming back to the city seems like an abrupt awakening from a faraway adventure dreamland. Nature begs us all to not give in to the pull of our fears, our sorrows and angers, all those inner mirrors that hold us against the loving embrace of gravity, destiny, and wilderness.

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods…
There is a rapture on the lovely shore….”
(Byron)

 

-Mahnoor Tariq
https://www.facebook.com/mahnoor.tariq.3910

CHALLENGES AND NEED FOR SURVIVAL – THE JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION

Since the inception of humans on this planet, the struggle for survival has been there too. With every passing era, humans needed different set of skills to survive. In the early times, hunting skills were necessary for survival and food. Similarly socializing skills were needed to have relationships among each other. With changing times came different challenges that were to be averted. Each challenge required a specific skill for survival. This began the evolution of the human race and their survivability skills.

Image Source: https://quotefancy.com/quote/1291246/Tim-Berners-Lee-We-need-diversity-of-thought-in-the-world-to-face-the-new-challenges

 

This tells us how important challenges are for us to build and acquire specific and vague set of skills. These skills help us in being dynamic and surviving in this challenging world. Similar is the case in transformation of a person from being selfish to a helping hand. Challenges we face create an urge in us to overcome them, which require skills like, socializing, team work, critical thinking, and leading. Every development we see in today’s world is an outcome of some challenge that was faced by a human being, and brilliantly overcome or solved with different skills. To acquire skills, we must face a challenge in the first place.

Survival is the ability to swim in strange water, by Frank Herbert.

Talking on the individual level, every challenge we face, brings something new to our set of skills. We strive to solve those challenges quickly and efficiently. These challenges help us transform ourselves into better humans. To make the world better, we have to make an impact on the whole society by helping others acquire skills to overcome their challenges.
All humans are equal before facing challenges, they are like wingless eagles, but the more challenges they face, the newer skills they acquire to overcome them. Those skills are the wings that grow larger and larger with challenges. And there comes a time when the wing span is so big that one can fly sky high. The shadow of their wings is the impact on the world that motivates others to not run away from the challenges but face them in order to grow their wings and fly. Challenges are the source of transformation for a person. Find new challenges and be ready to fly even higher.
-Farwah
https://www.facebook.com/FarwahMuhammad.9

Your First Step is the Footprint for Others

Have you ever wondered why parents mostly ask only the older sibling to mend their habits?

Why only the seniors are often asked to be a role model for their juniors?

Why having power makes the person so much responsible in a way?

Because they are setting examples for the people affiliated with them or around them.

They have an impact on the people around them, be it in a positive or in a negative way.

But it’s time we revolutionized this old concept: to be impactful, that person doesn’t need to be the older child, a senior, or an established power-bearer. This can be you, me, or any other person who has can discover true abilities within them.

People around this person learn from them, from their tactics, and from how they respond to the problems. They get inspired from when they respond to problems with solutions instead of complaining about them.

 

If you think the time for you to make an impact hasn’t arrived, think again. Are you really making sense here or are you just afraid of testing your potential?

Trust is the key factor in this scenario which makes the beginning possible.

  1. Trust in your inner strengths.
  2. Trust that others have in

Having trust in your inner strengths means recognizing your positive potential, and commanding your actions and using your nerves of steel which you haven’t discovered yet.

Trust that others put in you comes from the way you deal with your surroundings, how you communicate with others, and how you treat the less fortunate, those don’t have as many opportunities as you do.

If you use your abilities to their maximum every day, your actions will do wonders for you.

People start following your footprint because they begin to trust you and are left mesmerized by the way you have activated your abilities.

Thus taking that first step is the most important even if intimidating. Once that first step’s fear is ignored and initiative is taken, what lies ahead is a mixture of success, excitement, and increasing confidence. You never know what wonders your footprint carries for you and for others.

IMPACT-  Infusing Markhor Spirit to Produce Affective Character Traits

Lights, Camera, Impact!

This is what Markhor-17 is all about. What is your IMPACT? And how to amplify it? This year MARKHOR is going to revive your souls in a magical journey of 5 enthralling days, by:

I–    Infusing
M– Markhor Spirit
P– to Produce
A– Affective
C– Character
T– Traits

The word “character” originated from the Greek kharassō (χαράσσω), which means “I engrave”. Character is something that is engraved or “etched into” us by the experiences that we go through life.

                                                                             Image Source: bitsofpositivity
At Markhor, the biggest source of inspiration for affective character development is “Markhor”-the national animal of Pakistan. Infusing Markhor-spirit teaches us some of the most important traits for developing an impactful character such as:

Perseverance:

Markhor is a majestic endangered mammal, that symbolizes the magnificence with which it strives for its survival. Therefore, infusing Markhor-spirit into youth helps them create a stronger urge for thriving in the ever-changing global circumstances to sustain their unique identity.

Bravery:

The animal prefers living on dangerous and steep cliffs of the mountains to protect itself from wild predators and trophy hunters. So having a Markhor-spirit teaches youth to be dauntless in the face of overwhelming odds.

Dignity:

The grace with which this beautifully-horned animal successfully struggles to sustain itself at high altitudes, rugged mountains, harsh climate and food deficit develops in youth the spirit to fight uncertainties of life with virtue and dignity.

Self-worth:

These animals have strong role in the food web of the mountain ecosystem and their presence ensures to keep it in shape both for nature and humans. This is an exemplary for youth, making them realize their worth and highlighting their IMPACT on world.

Strength:

The strength and glory with which Markhor escapes all dangers, jumping several feet high while bearing the heavy weight of its beautifully twisted horns is an inspiration for youth to dig out their hidden reserves of strength and discover their IMPACT.

Organised lifestyle:

The Markhor inhabits high altitudes in summer where the weather is relatively cooler and shifts downhill in the winters. It spends its whole life in the same way in an orderly fashion. So adopting Markhor-spirit can help youth organize their lives to yield a bigger and better IMPACT.

So “Markhor” is a brilliant initiative, reshaping the character of Pakistani youth so that they can have a stronger IMPACT!                                                                             Image Source: pinterest

-Mahnoor Tariq

https://www.facebook.com/mahnoor.tariq.3910

What is Markhor?

Markhor – the national animal of Pakistan is the emblem of pride and nobility. Being one of endangered species, it thrives in an extremely challenging life-cycle to survive. The grace with which this magnificent animal struggles to sustain at high altitudes, rugged mountains, harsh climate and food deficit, inculcates in it resilience and adaptability. Quite similar are the absurd circumstances faced            by Pakistani youth and so is their     urge to survive. This is why Pakistan’s first wilderness based learning conference has been named “Markhor.”

Markhor is not just a typical youth conference; rather it is a whole new revolutionary experience that enables youth to contemplate the beauty of earth finding lifelong reserves of hidden strengths in them. A wilderness experience of 4 days on a mountain top at 9240 ft above sea level including camping, hiking, cooking, and surviving the most daring environmental conditions is a journey beyond description. The 4 days of simulated activity-based teaching, dividing diverse groups of youth into tribes, providing critical tasks and completing them together, helps prepare delegates for real life challenges and discover their solutions. A series of projects, activities, debates, discussions and keynotes allows cross flow of ideas and aid in overcoming communication barriers, boosts self confidence, sharpens mental capabilities and unleashes leadership potential within youth.

Markhor is going to give you a life-changing ethereal experience, infusing better sense of self-realization and practically reshaping your ideology of life. It will help youth to acquire agility, strength, and spirit under the supervision of excellent, internationally qualified trainers from various fields of life altogether at one of one of the most beautiful places of Pakistan. They will share their experiences, stories, and expertise, channelizing youth energy and helping them rediscover fresh perspective of life, instilling a sense of service to the world and developing a true Markhor spirit in them.

 

Evolution of Markhor

 

A project started by Youth Impact, a non-profit organization greatly known for its wilderness based training adventures, Markhor’s main objective is to create the Markhors that our Nation needs. Under the mentorship of CEO Youth Impact, Abdul Samad Khan, a certified Outdoor Educator from the world’s leading National Outdoor Leadership School, USA, this conference will offer much more than you expect.

Markhor started in 2013 as Pakistan’s first ever wilderness-based conference with focus on how our youth should be trained to cope with the challenges they have to face in the professional world. This conference is affiliated with many leaders, youth representatives, wilderness camping trainers, and also some organizations for the scholarships. Main features include limit testing, keynote sessions, debates, brainstorming wilderness activities, and much more.
No pain no Gain goes very well with this conference, you have to leave your comfort zone to learn how to survive in high altitudes such as Mukshpuri’s 9000+ft. above the sea level in sporadic weather conditions facing sunburn at day and extremely low temperature at nights.
But one thing is for sure, you won’t be the same as you were before attending this conference. You will be left amazed by your new self.

Till now 4 Markhor youth conferences have been realized. Youth, who normally age 17-25 years old, not only hailing from the four provinces Punjab, KPK, Sindh, Balochistan but also from Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and FATA, apply actively to experience wilderness for 4 days. In 2013 more than 2000 applicants applied and the best 77 were selected on merit. It focused on the building of character that professional world requires the most. Later in 2014 conference participants’ seats were increased from 77 to 100 seeing the youth’s interest and potential of applying for this conference, Markhor’14 focused on the world betterment issues and their solution. Till Markhor’15 many youths discovered this cause and OC had to further increase the delegates seat to 100+ with the theme of creating leadership skills. Last year Markhor’16 was carried again with 86 participants with a powerful theme What’s your Impact, enabling Markhor to find solutions to social problems in their communities through their own personal experience.

And, of course, you will take back with you emotions and laughter you shared with everyone, lifelong lessons, and your new true self which will distinguish you from others as you will have been Markhored.
Brand Launch Markhor 17

 

As you can see each year Markhor gets better and better, As the evolution of Markhor gets more and more effective, the organizing committee for Markhor gets more productive and amazing. Every member of the organizing committee is carefully picked and planned out by our Core team members, based on their profile and bio, in order to ensure an even more adventurous, unique, safer and thrilling event than that of last year. Each task is carefully planned out by our Project lead, which the organizing committee further executes, the organizing committee mainly consists of delegates of last year in order to put their leadership skills to a test and enhance them in much more practical ways. What is The Markhor Brand Launch 2017? It’s an exciting event where the entire organizing team gathers and puts their heads together and lays down its ideas in order to make the initial crucial decisions that will be executed at the event itself, leading to the start of the Markhor journey. Here at the brand launch we have the entire team, mentors and even the guest speakers participating. Mentors look after the progress of the Organizing committee and guide them to prevent common errors, and make sure the event is progressed with full glee and success. Speakers share their life experiences and their journey of life that add up to the spirit and courage of the already oh-so-hyped team and inspire them to be even better. Thoughts, advice by mentors, and ideas by speakers are shared and exchanged among the team at the brand launch. The collective strategy and contribution of the team is what gives us a well-composed, put-together brand launch. The excitement level intensifies when matters are discussed for the long journey that awaits us ahead. With all that the team has planned beforehand, much of the information is unveiled at the brand launch: Last year the conference was held at Mukshpuri, and this year? It’s a mystery yet. That and much more delicate information would be revealed at the Brand launch, stay tuned to find out what surprises are coming your way.

Tips for survival in Snow by Pro’s

We almost all have watched the famous Bear Grylls or similar professionals on the television surviving in the wild and living on different food and resources that nature provides us. Although the Chasing snow leopard might not make you eat bugs (the team will facilitate you to a certain extent) but taking a page from these professional’s book will surely help you. Planning is important is such tedious situations while there will always be situations where you have to think on your feet and make quick decisive and if possible calculated decisions. The tips are simple but useful.

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Image source: Mpora

The picture above: Shows Bear Grylls and how composed he is.

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Image source: Quotesgram

The Picture Above: Relates composure to life.

 

COMPOSURE IS KEY

Composure is important every situation, by being calm we can think and act more efficiently while obtaining better results. In contrast if we panic when something goes wrong we are unable to think properly while instead making the situation better we tend to make it worse.

Bear says that “your best survival tool is staying focused and calm. If you feel confused, disorientated or panicked, you will end up making bad decisions.”

So now how to maintain composure? What to do when composed?  When in panic our heartbeat escalates, so in order to compose ourselves we have to lower our heartbeat. A simple breathing exercise can help, close your eyes inhale slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth repeat this a couple of times this will calm you down. Now when calm, you will be able to assess the situation and evaluate all the possible situations. In everyone there is a basic survival instinct and composure can activate that for us in life and in nature. This way all the decisions we make won’t be on a whim and will save our lives.

 

DRESS APPROPRIATELY

This might seem like a simple instruction and it really is but we usually tend to not plan our attire properly. Our clothing can save our lives if done properly and vice versa.(instructions will be provided by the team on how to plan your clothing requirements) In snow keeping ourselves warm is imperative, our first source of warmth is our clothing. If you wear a lot of heavy pieces of clothing it would make it cumbersome for you to walk or hike, while if the clothing is too light then you might freeze to death hence we have to have a proper plan. Shoes are also part of our attire and they should be according to our destination, the same principle as the clothing apply to the shoes as well too heavy will make it hard to walk and vice versa. We should also keep in mind the material according to our destination that should our clothing be waterproof or not, should it be cotton or fleece and other such factors should be considered while planning.

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Image source: Huffingtonpost
The picture above: Even Jon Snow plans his dressing appropriately.

 

DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH

Despite popular belief, drinking too much water can be harmful to you too. Drinking water a lot without proper intervals does not give you time to replenish your electrolytes causing Hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood). A liter of water in a time span of 1 to 1.5 hour is adequate. Besides all this, too much drinking will cause you to make more stops to discharge the fluids and you won’t be able to reach the intended destination on time.

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Image source: Safeordangerous
The picture above: Drinking a gallon all at once.

 

COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT

While traveling tells someone that you are doing so that if you are in trouble they will be alert and might mount a rescue if necessary. While when hiking or trekking in a group we tend to stay with the group even if we are overexerting ourselves, while those who are more physically more fit tend to ignore the fact that the other person might not be. We have to communicate with each other to ensure that each and everyone stays with the group and they don’t overexert and hurt themselves. By doing so those who lose motivation will be motivated by the group and everyone’s weakness (everyone has some weakness) will be overcome in a collective manner.

 

-Hamza Khalid

Should I focus on goals or the problems?

Every time when overwhelmed with swarms of assignments to submit and quizzes to prepare for, there are times when each one of us is at a loss. On one hand, there are the valid problems that are holding us from performing our best. The usual suspects are sleep deprivation, a social calendar a little too full, or maybe just feeling homesick. On the other hand, we may be unable to focus on our goals, be it because of a lack of motivation or will. The question that arises then is, which of these two things to give our attention to?

Do we focus on solving the problems and then making the effort we need for our work, or should we set goals achieving which should then be managed?

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Image source: Michaelhyatt

Don’t raise the white flag just yet!

 

Not everything works for everyone but I believe that a set of rules when followed can be beneficial to many. First of, identify the problems. Are you sleeping enough? Is your schedule too extra-curricular-oriented? Can you manage your workload at the pace you’re going? Once that is sorted, you need to make sure that you always have the time your method of completing a task will require. For example, skip the party on Saturday if you have an assignment due on Monday that you have a feeling you will need two days to complete. Chances are you will end up needing more time than less.

This in no way means that you should become a recluse and never go out at all. It’s barely just a way to prioritise.

Finally the goals come into play. You need to set definitive goals for respective days. Your goals should neither be impossible to reach or a complete pushover. They should lie in the middle of the spectrum where you’re able to accomplish them even if you procrastinate.

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Image source: Carmensakurai

 

Reward yourself on your small achievements! It took effort, hard work and time! Even if you have a lot more to do, take some time to breathe to just bask in the fulfilment of your task. But don’t let it get out of hand. We are all too aware of the 10-minute break that lasted 2 hours. Don’t get carried away!

So, there you have it. Like all things in life you can’t choose one option and know you have the right one. There really is no set right way. Anything that works for you is the best way to go. But to get there at all, you need the insight and patience to see what will take you the furthest. Keep both your problems and goals in focus, don’t let them intimidate you.

And as long as you give it your best, you will not have any regrets.

 

-Mahrukh Javed Khan

 

Potential and success don’t usually go hand in hand

Statistically speaking, two human beings will always have something in common. It can be a fondness for a specific sport, an aversion from a certain food or even an allergy. Likewise, no two humans can be the exact same. There will always be an attribute setting them apart.

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Image source: Quotesgram

 

These likenesses and differences obviously come from the way we are wired. Our genetics while playing a huge role are coupled with our upbringing, our lifestyles, our socio-economic statuses to make us into the people we are.

You can see this stark contrast even in siblings who have the most number of factors in common. One could turn out to be spectacular at mathematics, while the other could be the next Picasso. One might be inspired by the words of Shakespeare while the other may rock out to Eminem.

Even with such distinctions in who we are, each one of us has qualities and skills that could be used to make something of ourselves. And it is up to us to find them, cultivate them, and have them be our tickets to prosperity. But having these qualities doesn’t necessarily ensure success. A lot of other factors such as hard work, ambition and luck come into play here. Nerves are an immense issue for some.  And only once we have mastered to control them and ourselves can we progress.

Haven’t we all heard of exceptional actors never making it in real life? Of students who were brilliant but could never perform well in standardised tests? Don’t we see people seemingly content with their lives but considering their skill set could evidently do a staggering lot, if they set their minds to it? I know we all have.

So, don’t be the person holding yourself back. Don’t be a roadblock on your own path to greatness. Don’t be content. Always keep striving for more. Is that not what life is about anyway? To not stagnate and keep moving forward? To make luck work for you? It truly is.

Just knowing that you are meant for great things is not enough. Trying hard to achieve them is what will take you there. Only those who try ever do succeed. So don’t waste yourself or the blessings God has bestowed on you. Make use of your talents. And don’t be afraid of failure. Failing is just another chance to do something better.

Transcend beyond the limitations the world has put on you. You are here for a reason. Find it.

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Image source: Superfastbusiness

 

-Mahrukh Javed Khan

 

Thrive to Survive

While living life, most of us forget about striving and thriving. The fundamental difference between the two is something that never stays clear to us while living life.

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“The ultimate matrix of life”

 

The staircase destinations

Surviving and thriving are two steps of the staircase. Both are the basic cardinals of self-realization and self-actualization. But surviving is relating to living, existence at a linear pace. Whereas thriving is the next step in the staircase. It means growing, developing and flourishing in the short time span of life.

But most of the time, we are just on the survival mode. A life time of survival is not the true essential of 21st century leader. So how do leaders live?

 

Leadership and thrive

The difference between leaders and followers is their basic lifestyle. Leaders never create homes. They rather drive out of their comfort zones. They prefer less resources but better facilities. Thriving is what matters to a leader. That’s why you will find most of the leaders following a strict time check of their daily activities.

 

Why to survive?

Air, water, sleep and all other necessities are required for survival. But does survival actually matter? If survival matters, then why are leaders present amongst a big pool of ordinary people?

 

Survive but also thrive

Yes, leaders also survive. But time span of a leader’s survival is always negligible. Apart from spending an ordinary life, out of risks, within the comfort zone and limited to defined parameters survival actually matters.

So we must survive but also learn to thrive through the various segments of life.

 

-Annosha Durrani

Writers Twitter Profile Link: https://twitter.com/Annosha33

Chasing Snow leopards at Shogran

At a distance of 232km from the capital of Pakistan resides a beautiful sanctuary that provides relaxation for body and the soul both. To reach Shogran from the capital we have multiple routes, one of them is to journey through Abbottabad, Maneshra and Balakot.  After Balakot further we travel on the main Balakot-Naran road a total of 34km to reach Shogran, during this journey from Balakot to Shogran we also pass through a little town known as Kewai.  The total journey from Islamabad to the scenic valley of Shogran takes an average time of 5hours and 20mins.

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Image source: Google Maps

This shows the possible routes from Islamabad to Shogran.

The road to Shogran from Kewai is surrounded by heavy forest and intense slopes that make the journey as adrenaline pumping as it is beautiful.

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Image sources: Pakistantoursguide and Hikers

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Image source: DeviantArt

These pictures give us a little taste of beauty offered by Shogran.

 

Shogran is located on a green plateau in Kaghan valley at the height of 7,749 feet above sea level. Other picturesque places near Shogran are Siri, Paye and Makra peak.  The average annual temperature is 11.4 degrees Celsius with a precipitation of 1008mm annually. Although the name “Shogran Valley” may make it appear that it is cuddled up in the base of some peaks, the truth is that the valley is located on a plateau that allows it to give its visitors mesmerizing views of the area.     These exalted sceneries have influenced the visitors to classify the valley as one of the “most beautiful places in Pakistan”, that’s something to say as Pakistan riddled with beautiful scenic locations. Other than that the Shogran valley is home to various types of flora and fauna. There are many forests of deciduous and conifer-hardwoods, there are also small shrubs of remedial herbs and berries found in the area as well. On the other hand, there are many wildflowers, on the other, there are also vast meadows of lush green grass that present a beautiful view. The fauna of Shogran includes small animals like marmots and wild sheep and deer, while birds like pheasants, woodcocks, pigeons, hawks, falcons and vultures are commonly found. Woodpeckers have also been sighted in the region. In the past large cats have been seen in the region but due to human expansion, they are rarely seen nowadays.

 

Trekking in Shogran:

Shogran is more of a base than a destination for trekkers. The trekkers may stay a night at the rest houses present in the valley to rest and relax.  Usually, trekkers start early in the morning to hike to the surrounding lakes and mountains after an adventurous experience usual trekkers tend to return to their guest houses. While those like the team of youth impact, who are more adventurous than others and like to challenge themselves, tend to hike and then camp in the mountains to stay the night.  The visitors should also keep some important equipment in mind when planning the trip such as sun blocks, hats, warm clothes, gloves, walking sticks and warm headgear. The hikers should take very good boots as the trekking can get treacherous sometimes and you need to be as comfortable as possible while taking the treks.

 

-Hamza Khalid

The Guide to Survival in Snowy Mountains

Adventurous men have always possessed the quest for exploring nature. That is why wilderness is their best friend. But the adventure reaches its peak when snow falls on the ground with its variable characteristics.

Survival for such adventure experts can become pretty tough in extreme snowy conditions. So, a guide to the true adventure serves best to stay on an edge of adventure but close to survival. A checklist and some commonsense with scientific facts is what will make the survival easier. As we know it, the fittest survives.

Survival in snow is an ancient idea. People from the past have survived snow storms and ice age but the human species has somehow found the ways to adapt itself to severe environmental conditions.

As evident snow not only makes the tracks difficult but also blocks the availability of natural resources and emergency contacts. So apart from recreation, some adventure experts can easily find themselves stranded in the snowy mountains. So, staying equipped and facing the challenges is the best solution. And here is how.

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“Happiness in snow comes from making smart decisions”

Image source: Northwestnatureshop

 

The Ups and Downs of the trek

It is important to know everything about the trek and the location. When I say everything then I mean everything. From natural phenomenon’s such as landslides, minimum temperatures, availability to survival resources to emergency facilities. Making a checklist of these will keep the adventurer prepared for anything.

 

Don’t compromise

Resources are a must. If you lack even a single item, then it is always advisable not to go for the snowy adventure. The best example being, if polypropylene is required then cotton cannot be an alternative.

 

Avoid drive and head to walk

Sleets and slides are uncertain but something that stays firm is the foot. So avoid the use of heavy cars in order to commute and stick to walking. Walking in snow can be as difficult as walking in sand, so a particular walking posture is often adopted by experts to avoid slip offs.

 

Watch and learn

An alert pair of eyes with a quick mind is what serves the best. Storm warnings and timings are often predictable by judging the weather closely. So keep a look at the sky along with a watch on the wrist.

 

Feet being the problem

It is necessary to stay warm and comfy. But how can one manage when the feet have to remain stuck in snow 24/7. A multiple layer of socks with high sole air resistant shoes are best. A big tip: workable is always worm. So, keep doing activities and your natural energy will help you out.

These tips will help you in your next adventure so try to follow them and again DON’T COMPROMISE.

 

-Annosha Durrani

Writers Twitter Profile Link: https://twitter.com/Annosha33

Snow as a survival resource in snowy expeditions

Snow in itself is a wonderful natural phenomenon. And who doesn’t like walking to a cotton white carpet along with the facility to make snow balls to throw at friends and foe. Trust me because that is my top priority task when I go to snowy expeditions with friends and strangers.

 

The thrill of the chase

For people who love wilderness, snow fall always gives them thrills of chase. Seeing the same natural beauty painted white is just extraordinary for the eyes of a wilderness enthusiast. But no matter how charming the whole scenario seems; one fact stays the same: How to survive in snow for longer periods and still keep the enjoyment at zenith.

 

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“Alternative to snow is snow”

Image source: Adventureout

 

Cold and Lethal Snow

Snow is cold, and sometimes lethal. If proper survival measures are not taken then you can almost freeze to death. But as I believe the top alternative to snow is snow itself. Science explains this in the best way possible.

 

Insulator at its best

Being a top of the list insulator in winter’s, snow will keep you away from the cold, dusty and high speed winds. Animals have finally become able to utilize snow for their survival. Hibernation is an old phenomenon but now snow can be used by humans too. With high percentage of air trapped inside, snow house and snow beds serve as a cosy abode for people on snowy expeditions.

 

The deeper the better

If you want to survive for longer hours than the deeper you go the better. Snow temperatures vary. The colder snow being on top and temperature varying the deeper you go. So digging deeper into snow is the best survival method. This reduces lower temperatures and their risks.

 

Want to quench thirst then use snow

Secondary school science teaches us that snow is just frozen water but with a lot of air trapped inside. So if incase we want to use snow as an alternative to water then a ratio of 10:1 is required to quench thirst.

Snow is just a natural phenomenon that turns out to be lethal when an enthusiast is careless. So enjoying but being careful towards the expedition will make it easy for you to survive the longest.

 

-Annosha Durrani

Writers Twitter Profile Link: https://twitter.com/Annosha33

Conquer your spirit: The leopards’ attitude

Leopard is an agile creature, gifted with the possession of agility, strength and spirit. It can survive in the most daring environmental conditions where resources like food and shelter are lacking. But the endangered species still marks a spot in the Asian mountains. Regardless of tough survival conditions the leopard has conquered its spirit which has allowed him to survive through the thick and thins.

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People who train to become leaders are true leaders

Image Source: Pinterest

Train your mind like a leopard

Leopard has trained his mind over the years adapting to the changing environment, working its memory towards the degrading environment and global warming. In order to survive the leopard has adopted different ways to hunt its prey and often in times of need has relied upon different types of prey to fulfill his hunger.

Like a brain training program, the leopard has evolved over the past years into a more tactical specie. Training to the changing environment and the hunting by humans, leopards have now become more elusive and agile.

In order to hunt incredibly ingenious specie that can hunt down other species and survive through the tough environment needs a significant training.

Human being has to adjust to the changing environment, social scenarios, wars, poverty and many other problems. A trained mind keeps the person in a perfect working condition.

 

Dealing with stress

Lack of survival, resources and the degrading habitat is a constant stress. In order to deal with it the leopard has adapted itself to longer periods of hunger strides. Because the creature is quiet and prefers to live in solitude, it often hides in the mountains to escape from becoming prey to other wild animals.

Stress for any specie is inevitable. Human beings like leopards have become victim to it. Everyday challenges and even small tasks come with stress. In order to deal with it an individual must keep his mind active, adjust to the changing conditions, be flexible to the requirements of work and always be able to work the stress out through therapeutic activities.

By conquering these weaknesses, ultimate success with greater impact can be achieved.

 

-Annosha Durrani

Writers Twitter Profile Link: https://twitter.com/Annosha33

Leadership and The Unpopularity of Views

In view of most people leadership and popularity contests are interrelated. In classical trends of leadership popularity and fame was never chosen. Leadership is rather the name of doing the right tasks at the appropriate time and for the deserving people. Leaders have the ultimate aim to leave behind a conviction and will to carry on the noble tasks. Nowadays, leadership position has been solely related to popularity contests rather than responsibility factors.

 

The difference between an ordinary and famous leader

A very common example about leadership might be one of your neighbors. Because of his skills, the neighbor might be a better leader then all the famous geeks we have viewed on television, who are distinct because of their thoughts. So all the people who have been adopting the leadership position in the past have merely fought in popularity contests rather than truly conveying the true meaning of leadership.

A leader must not focus on the charm and charisma of a position or even about the benefits of that job. But sometimes if a true leader fails to adopt the position of responsibility fully than followers and team mates might get discouraged through it.

So focusing on the bigness of a position isn’t important but rather adopting its greatness is necessary. And above all a leader must not forget that greatness is not within us but rather it is through us.

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Where everyone takes A,they take B.

Image Source: Quotefancy

 

Different ideas often get ridiculed

A leader must always be ready to get ridiculed. Ideas that are beyond the common perception, for then getting ridiculed is inevitable. But when the idea brings change amongst the audience in masses then ridicule turns into mystification. The entire perception of leadership changes. As ordinary human beings who want to be leaders be must think of leadership as an achievable goal.

Honesty and sincerity are the biggest credentials of leadership. As a leader we must not focus on the charm and charisma of a position or even about the benefits of that job.

But sometimes if a true leader fails to adopt the position of responsibility fully than followers and team mates might get discouraged through it. So we must never focus on the bigness of a position but rather adopt its greatness. And above all as a leader we must not forget that greatness is not within us but rather it is through us.

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Speak and motivate others to speak as well.

Image Source: Azquotes

Speak-up and scale-up

True leaders always speak their mind and walk their idea. They never fall prey to the unpopularity of their views no matter if they get ridiculed for it. Popular opinions and views don’t matter for true leaders because they follow their own principles and make the right decisions against all odds. However, during the journey a leader often has to take an edge in which he has to challenge common ideas. This isn’t for his own popularity but according to the leader the common idea needs modifications. This ability to take risks is what makes one a true leader.

 

-Annosha Durrani

Writers Twitter Profile Link: https://twitter.com/Annosha33

Self-actualized trait

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Image Source: LinkedIn

The Picture Above: Highlights the stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.

(Self-Actualization on the top)

 

Maslow’s states self-actualization the last of the human’s needs, in order to live a successful life. In order to reach Self-actualization Maslow says one has to full fil their other needs that he highlighted as physical, safety, relationship and esteem need. Well, this just according to the study of one phycologist known as Abraham Maslow.

So what is Self-Actualization? Have you ever just sat alone and thought about yourself without any distractions? Have you ever self-analyzed? Like just thought about your strengths, weaknesses and just tried to know yourself.  Well, self-actualization has two parts one is that the realization of your own potential and limits in their entirety. While the second is that gaining the drive to achieve and live to your full potentials. In order to realize one’s potential one has to have a clear and unbiased mind while also opting for a realistic thinking method in the process. Well once you truly know yourself that’s when you can truly utilize yourself to your full potential and even at times surpass your current potentials.

We can see some notable characteristics of people who are self-actualized. Even Maslow after many tests and observations has highlighted some characteristics that have been common in all the self- actualized people. These are 10 characteristics that Maslow defined:

 

  1. Efficient perceptions of reality: They have the ability to see reality in its truest sense. They are not afraid of ambiguity or mystery and are comfortable in it. They are the good judge of different situations.
  1. They accept themselves, together with all their flaws: They are comfortable in who they are and will always express it. They have the high level of self-acceptance and won’t put up a façade for others. In doing so they possess self-confidence. On the other hand not only do they accept themselves they also accept others for who they are. With all said and done they still realize the flaws that are changeable in their characters and personality they even regret in making that change. The regret leads to eventually making that change and improving their own character.
  1. They prioritize and enjoy the journey, not just the destination: Such people tend to not fret if they did not reach the destination they aimed for and believe that the journey is more important. They learn from their own experiences and won’t form opinions based on other people’s judgments.
  1. Spontaneous and natural: They stay true to themselves and in doing so they might not follow norms of the society and be unconventional. In doing so he/she will accept that fact that might not understand or even accept their actions and behaviors.
  1. They are motivated by Growth: Such people are  driven by self-growth rather than the fulfillment of needs.
  1. Self-actualized people are goal oriented: That is they have a purpose in life and work towards achieving it, it can be a personal goal or even a goal/purpose they believe is their obligation. They like to implement their problem-solving skills in real life and help others.
  1. They are independent people: They tend to be autonomous people. They have their own ideals and decide not to conform to other people’s idea of happiness. Due to this, they are able to live in the moment and enjoy the NOW. While due to this independence they also like solitude and privacy, they like time to themselves in the wilderness.
  1. They are not troubled by small problems/things: They tend to look at the bigger pictures rather than fretting about the small things. Their field of vision in life is much greater than an ordinary person.
  1. They are also very Realistic: They have the ability to views things logically and rationally. Some people say realistic people are usually negative and they tend to focus on “why we can’t do this?” unlike an idealist who say “how can we do this?” Well, this is just a stereotype. One can be a realistic idealist in order to succeed in life and even be able to change the world.
  1. Despite all this, self-actualized people are not perfect: They do not suffer from the delusion that they are perfect human beings. They constantly self-evaluate and try to be the best of themselves. In realizing this fact this brings the traits of humility and gratefulness in a person.

 

So do you still believe you are self-actualized? If not where do you lack? In the end, we have to believe that if everyone tries they can be self-actualized and be the best of themselves, they just have to accept that fact that they are who they are. I believe that nowadays we have too many distractions and that is why we tend not to give ourselves enough time. We also have come to believe that we are not the leaders of our life and destiny, those who do believe this tend not to act on it. IF WE KNOW OURSELVES WE CAN BE THE BEST OF OURSELVES AND LIVE TO OUR FULL POTENTIALS.

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Image Source: Verywell

You can be happy by yourself too if you are truly self-actualized.

 

 -Hamza Khalid Kyani

 

Potential and success don’t usually go hand in hand

Statistically speaking, two human beings will always have something in common. It can be a fondness for a specific sport, an aversion from a certain food or even an allergy. Likewise, no two humans can be the exact same. There will always be an attribute setting them apart.

1

Image source: Quotesgram

 

These likenesses and differences obviously come from the way we are wired. Our genetics while playing a huge role are coupled with our upbringing, our lifestyles, our socio-economic statuses to make us into the people we are.

You can see this stark contrast even in siblings who have the most number of factors in common. One could turn out to be spectacular at mathematics, while the other could be the next Picasso. One might be inspired by the words of Shakespeare while the other may rock out to Eminem.

Even with such distinctions in who we are, each one of us has qualities and skills that could be used to make something of ourselves. And it is up to us to find them, cultivate them, and have them be our tickets to prosperity. But having these qualities doesn’t necessarily ensure success. A lot of other factors such as hard work, ambition and luck come into play here. Nerves are an immense issue for some.  And only once we have mastered to control them and ourselves can we progress.

Haven’t we all heard of exceptional actors never making it in real life? Of students who were brilliant but could never perform well in standardised tests? Don’t we see people seemingly content with their lives but considering their skill set could evidently do a staggering lot, if they set their minds to it? I know we all have.

So, don’t be the person holding yourself back. Don’t be a roadblock on your own path to greatness. Don’t be content. Always keep striving for more. Is that not what life is about anyway? To not stagnate and keep moving forward? To make luck work for you? It truly is.

Just knowing that you are meant for great things is not enough. Trying hard to achieve them is what will take you there. Only those who try ever do succeed. So, don’t waste yourself or the blessings God has bestowed on you. Make use of your talents. And don’t be afraid of failure. Failing is just another chance to do something better.

Transcend beyond the limitations the world has put on you. You are here for a reason. Find it!

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Image source: Superfastbusiness


Mahrukh Javed Khan

Know your fire

Have you ever stopped to think about that one thing in your life that just comes naturally to you? Something that you don’t have to try too hard to be amazing at, something you can maybe hope to go very far in? A hobby, a skill that just allows you to be in your zone. Something you can be your true self doing. It can be writing for some, singing or playing an instrument for others. It can also just be as simple as talking to people. And if something from your life has come to mind while reading this, I’m very proud to be the one to tell you that you KNOW YOUR FIRE!

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Image Source: YouTube

 

You have looked deep within yourself to know what skill there is that comes naturally to you. You have thought of your weaknesses and your strengths and have found that one thing that sets you apart from others. If you are pursuing a career that does not incorporate that particular skill of yours, I would like you to reconsider. To find a way to do your work with that one bit helping you. Because once you have your fire on your side, you will always be really far ahead in the competition.

If somehow you feel as if you do not know what it is that you can are good at, take some time off to get to know yourself. Because only when you know of what you’re capable of can you truly hope to achieve even a fragment of it. Think of your activities of the day, think of what brings you joy, think of all the tasks that were easy for you, and those that were not. Soon not only will you be acquainted with all that you can excel at but also things that have been holding you back. And only once you know and understand them can you hope to improve on them

A ferocious animal lies within you, waiting to be set free. Waiting to tread a path of greatness and only you can take it there.

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Image sources: Ray Wender Lich

 

Know you fire, kindle it and watch as it conquers all in sight.

-Mahrukh Javed Khan

Transformation comes from within

Every day that you are alive in this world, every moment that you are at home, safe with a roof over your head is a miracle. A blessing. A work of chance. You did nothing to deserve an amazing family, nothing really to have food on your table. And if life wasn’t initially fair to you, you should understand that it is not your fault either. But is a test to see if you succumb to your circumstances or if you take control of your life and change its direction.

For it is true that no one will blame you if you were born in an underprivileged family, but you will most certainly be at fault if you haven’t made something of yourself by the end of it.

As the saying goes, excuses are for losers. Thus, if you are justifying your lack of success, nobody is going to listen.

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Image source: YouTube

 

Just stop to think if you have ever heard of any stories about people who against undefying odds failed? Has the world ever given importance to a person born poor, who died the same? Has it ever appreciated students who didn’t do as well at school because of the problems they were facing? No! What will truly matter is not that your condition was tough and you failed, but that you succeeded when faced with such adversity.

Your life is yours to make something of and you will be expected to do just as much.

And to become a success story, you need to be in a constant state of change. Only when you set your mind to becoming the best version of yourself can you hope to be transformed into an image of it. Only when your struggle to be better doesn’t end, can you actually be the best. Your transformation needs to come from you, and it is the only way to move on to become the very best, most successful you there is.

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Image source: Checklistables

 

So, take control, know yourself. Change everything and anything that is holding you back. The transformation will never be complete, but one day you will be able to see all that you have accomplished.

-Mahrukh Javed Khan

How To Establish A Leadership Potential For Everyday Challenges

In order to make the most of our everyday life, there are several skills that we must develop. These skills ultimately develop our potential as a leader and makes it easy for us to overcome the remnant inevitable challenges.

So regardless of whatever you are doing in life, one thing must always be kept in mind: You have to LEAD at it. So, whether you are a teacher, student, entrepreneur, dishwasher, para climber or an outdoor enthusiast you must exercise the skills that will help you towards becoming a better leader in your field.

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“Leaders are common men with extraordinary principles”

       Image Source: Slideshare

 

Leaders have a defined set of principles

The problem with everyday challenges is that often people get misguided. They are forced to deviate from their own views and principles. This deviation puts them under the follower’s category and they ultimately end up following the same track as others.

True leaders always have defined principles. Regardless of time, need, culture and situation they never deviate from their self-created principles. So you know what they say, when everyone is going west, these motivated individuals go to east. They involve themselves into self-service and set a stream of followers who understand the authenticity of their principle and the clarity of their mission.

So in order to be possess a leadership potential follow your principles by heart. An example is from the relationship of a mother and child. A mother always teaches her child life principles from a very young age such as: don’t smoke, don’t lie, don’t steal, help the poor, feed the needy. This way the child never follows bad and negative principles in the life that comes after.

 

Leaders pay heed to the needs of others

A true leader is the one who understands the needs and requirements of others. Regardless of whether the other person is his teammate, child or sibling. Leaders are empathetic, and everyday challenges also require from them the same attitude.

Adjusting to the needs, requirements and casualties of others is the strongest aspect of a leader. This way the leader can give his fellow people their required space which prevents them from getting frustrated and bothered.

In order to be aware of people’s needs we must learn how to communicate. Communication is the best way that will make you aware of their problems. For example, I once went for an interview at AEISEC Islamabad and my interviewers gave me a role play in which I was the leader. 3 of my team members were depressed altogether because one was lost in the demise of his cat, the other had problems with his siblings and the third one was tired and sick. So I had no option left then to only adjust to their needs and play smart and cool.

 

Leaders are planters not builders

You might be thinking how this one fits into leadership potential. An analysis of all the successful leaders shows that they are not builders but planters.

As Poulo Coelho once said, ““In life, a person can take one of two attitudes: to build or to plant. The builders might take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they’re doing. Then they find that they’re hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses its meaning when the building stops.

Then there are those who plant. They endure storms and all the vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener’s constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure.

Gardeners always recognize each other, because they know that in the history of each plant lies the growth of the whole World.”

So great leadership potential comes from being a planter not a builder.

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“Leadership is hard especially when it comes to action.”

Image Source: https://www.askideas.com

 

True leaders take initiative in groups

We all know that acceptance of a leader’s and follower’s position is really intimidating. But all great leaders started out as followers. But did differentiate them from other followers and ultimately lead them towards becoming a better leader is their ability to take initiatives in groups.

Several real life examples are present that illustrate the success of taking initiatives. One includes the life of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) who always took initiatives in his group. This way the followers paid heed to his vision and mission and ultimately he got established as a role model for the entire human population.

Leadership as I believe is something very easy. Only if we do not assume it to be something that is bigger than us. Following a handful of essentials can always help us in becoming great leaders. But don’t forget that if a small challenge is handled with care only then can big challenges be conquered. So adopt leadership principles in everyday challenges as well.

-Annosha Durrani

Writers Twitter Profile Link: https://twitter.com/Annosha33

How to become a great Leader without effort

 

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Leadership is complete attitude or behavior that becomes periodic and procedural over time.

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Leadership is the difference between innovation and creativity.

Image Source: Pinterest

 

Leaders are good decision makers

This is one quality that makes an ordinary man different and unique from the crowd. So if you know yourself better then by this quality you can also deduce whether you have the apt for becoming a great leader as well.

Leaders can take various immediate decisions regarding various issues in the time it takes others to understand the question.

If you are a good pressure handler and tackle messy situations with ease then you have essence of leadership in your behavior because, process of taking accurate decisions in tricky ensures reck up of experiences encounter with a multitude of different circumstances, personality types and unforeseen failures.

Although, the decision making is an decisive understanding of being time honored with the cause and effect of ethical and action patterns;  understanding  the clever and interconnected points of the variables included  in these patterns permits a leader to confidently make decisions and project the probability of their desired outcomes.

The most successful leaders are congenital decision makers. Leadership simply means working above in hierarchical manner but various people influence their power of position when they walk in.

Action is what distinguishes a leader from a manager.

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Image Source:  Quotesology

 

Leaders let the crowd share their perspective

An authoritative person who  divert attention away from themselves and give room to others to voice their perspective. They can frankly let others feel safe to give their word of mouth and  give their best with ease.   They ensure their executive existence to create a conducive environment. Public speaking is one of the key factors which highlights leaders key roles this is especially true when it comes to “performance expectations.”

Rule of leadership lies in understanding the individual capacity of people, learning curve and social norms around you.  By using their insight they can easily challenge their subordinates to think and expand them to reach for more.   These people can easily excel in organizing their teams on their toes, never letting  them to get comfortable.

-Annosha Durrani

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“I have seen more than I Remember

And remember more than I have seen”

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We all have watched movies in which the characters are depressed and then asked by the company to take a break and go somewhere to gather themselves up, to refresh their soul, to widen their minds and to leave their worries behind.

Yes! Travelling and going outside in the nature has a direct effect on your profession with other countless gains.

Travelling gives you an edge and makes you a better coworker.

But How?

Let’s look into this deeper!

“And Then They Realized, Adventures are the best way to learn”

5 Reasons Why Travelers are better coworker:

Give time to Nature and in return It’ll give you Experience: Look into the sky and see what you find? Thousands of stars, sun, planets, asteroids, meteoroids, clouds rainbow, birds and countless other things. You learn new thing from each of them, but can you do this from behind the door, from inside your room?

Nature is a well filled with lots of sweet water but that well won’t come towards you, you’ll have to go there to satisfy your thirst of experience and you will find that well there when you feel the thirst again…

Travelling Improves Confidence: Outing, spending time of leisure with nature and travelling makes you a better and confident person.

You have to go to Lahore tomorrow?

Ohh the bag pack! I haven’t packed anything yet. How is the weather there, how the food tastes there? Will there be thugs? …….

Such countless questions increase our worries, but those who travel a lot don’t have such worries. Travelling and spending time outside has answered their questions or maybe taken away their fear.

Let’s stay curious!

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Outdoor People Are Healthier: Outing, with other countless blessings, bless us with good health. You may feel that you are safer inside buy you’ll be surprised to know that according to Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), the concentration of some pollutant is 3-5 times (sometimes more than 100 times) higher indoor than outdoors. Air pollution is also 25-62% higher inside (California Air Resources Board).

It is also good for eyes and decreases chances of myopia.

Outing also fulfill needs of Vitamin D.

So briefly according to Scientific Researches, those who spend more time outside have strong muscles (obviously because of physical activity), good eyes, low fats (so low chances of heart diseases, blood pressure, diabetics and many more) and nature gives them Vitamin D. So without any second thought, we can conclude that people who spend time outside are healthier.

Nature is never sad nor are its Friends:

Going outside benefits the mental health. According to a study those who spend time in nature have lower stress level. Another 2010 study finds out that adding some trees will even make it better!

Going outside take your worries and rather than worrying about your problems, you’ll be busy staring at the kitten wandering in the garden near the plants. As a result, when you’ll get back, you’ll be focused and in a better position to face and solve problems.

 

Travelers are Peoples People:

Those who go outside, meet a lot of people. The gain valuable knowledge about people’s nature, customs, dresses, food and lifestyle. They can understand people because they have loads of confidence to speak and take chances. They don’t panic and handle every situation gracefully whenever something unexpected happens. They love to learn so they get deeper in other people nature and understand them better.

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Briefly, those who spend more time outside, understand, handle and works with other people better than other people who spend less time outside and people and happier and more useful while working with them.

Muhammad Osama Shahzad

 

 

10 quotes that will make you leave everything for wilderness

Living in cities, being shuttled from air-conditioned car to air-conditioned building, constantly surrounded by comfort and entertainment, depending on technology for everything and every time, it’s easy to become disconnected from the natural world.

Nature isn’t just all the green stuff and furry critters we can see the countryside, it’s the ground beneath our feet, it’s the sky we look up at, it’s every living thing on earth, ourselves included. The Air, the light, the very idea of each and everything arouses from the Nature itself.

To wander off into wilderness is an adventure all must take up, for it holds the answers to many questions we face daily in our routine lives but what encourages us to undertake such adventure.

Here is a compilation of quotes that’ll make you leave everything for wilderness:

 

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And the discovery shall be the path towards understanding yourself and ultimately
understanding the wonders of Nature.

 

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There are some things which may seem unimportant at moments but as we pay close attention to them we realize we can’t survive without them and Nature is the most important of them all!

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To see your worth you have to be able to understand it and what better way than to scale the Giants so that you may see above all else.

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Nature is full of wonders, plunge into it and it shall solve all your mysteries.

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Image Source: quotefancy.com

Sometimes we have to do things in order to understand their worth and to judge that if it’s worth it and sometimes we have to do things not because we want to but because it’s best for us.

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Because seeing is believing.

 

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Every once in a while your soul needs to be recharged, make sure to do it.

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Face the challenge and do it as a sport because there is always space to learn and enjoy.

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Make sure to take the medicine of nature just to save your soul from dying before death.

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Be wild and be free, because you are good enough to experience it.

 

Your fantasy tour guide:

-Ali Hamza

Tips to plan your gap year

 Bonjour!

It’s August and some of the school kids might just be a little demented right now as it’s the month of high school or CIE results! Not a good time eh! Anyway my prayers go to all the kids expecting their results. Some of these little fellows will wander off to colleges and universities while other might just stay back and plan their gap year. So here are a few ideas to help you plan your gap year.

 

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Its adventure time!

No not the cartoon series! But for real utilize your time to have the great adventure of your life as you may not get this time again. Trust me your life ahead is jam packed with boring lectures, meetings and adult things, like paying taxes, bills and doing your dirty laundry. So plan now where you want to go!

 

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Learn a new language

You have got plenty of time on your hands be responsible and learn a new language. It’s always good to learn a new language it not only enhances your linguistic skills but also helps you learn more about someone else’s culture and improves your general knowledge. So go ahead give it a try.

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 Try becoming a YouTuber

It’s quite a new thing, adopting YouTube as an actual profession for the time being can be an amusing task. Many famous YouTube stars started their career in their gap years. The famous jacksGap is one of them.

 

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Try volunteering

You could use your time more efficiently by volunteering for charity organizations and NGOs. This way you not only get internal satisfaction but also some points to add in your CV.

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Internship

You could always do an internship in your gap year. This internship could be even be related to your hobby such as writing. Some internships are paid. Hence you can not only polish your skills and learn new things but also earn some money

 

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 Skill grooming

Enroll yourself in a skill grooming course such as join a baking or cooking class or maybe enroll in a sewing course. Possibilities are endless my friend. Use your time productively.

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I hope these tips help

Ayesha Hameed

Why wilderness is good for students?

Since time, immemorial people have gone to wilderness to seek vision, experience a deeper sense of inner peace, and find healing. Nature has a certain kind of light and clarity that speaks clearly to the soul, calling it forth. When people go to nature, they touch a deeper part of themselves, a part that has been hidden by the distractions and hectic pace of daily life. When people go to wild, they go because the soul longs for connection and needs to be heard.

 

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In this modern age, we have taken away from our youngsters much of the challenge of our physical existence so much that arguably we have created an unhealthy culture where our material abundance has led to the highest rates of obesity and apathy, ever known among youngsters. Living in the outdoors requires work: demands of the weather, of walking everywhere you go, of learning to live without furniture and a bed means that you learn how to take care of yourself in ways that are easily taken for granted every day. There is no shower, bed, toilet, oven, microwave, television, computer, lighting; all these basic amenities are missing. Students then learn to make do with what they can do for themselves; specifically they learn how to take care of themselves completely without the modern conveniences their lives are propped up by. This engenders a sense of empowerment, of being capable of successfully keeping themselves physically comfortable and safe: warm when it is cold, dry when it is wet and fed when they are hungry. They become students of life in its most natural form.

Nature also provides the best classroom to learn one of the essential truths: that with every action, there is a subsequent reaction; for every cause, there is an effect. In essence, moving out of childhood is moving into conscious awareness in which we no longer are a function of our trauma, our family story, our incorrect beliefs or our impulsive conditioning (involuntary conditioning). We aim to help each of our students learn that they have the ability to make choices with what they do and how they respond to circumstances in their lives. Wilderness is the single best context to learn this truth.

For example, if a student sleeps poorly because the wind whipped their shelter all night because they didn’t secure it tightly and then is grumpy and irritable all day, we help them connect the dots between their shelter building effort (such attributes as attention to detail, prioritizing quality and craftsmanship, not being lazy, not settling for just good enough) and how they slept and, therefore, how they feel (the result of not doing an adequate job of securing their shelter). With this simple connection, students make a massive leap, a leap towards understanding that what you put into life, you get out of life. Nature is the teacher, an authority everyone respects. Connecting the dots between behavior and nature’s consequences empowers students to make intelligent choices and understand how nature naturally supports this.

In wilderness, distractions such as social and economic status, image and materialism are irrelevant. Nature does not treat any one person any differently than any other no matter their status or their possessions. Wilderness provides a neutral context to create a community with intention, one based on essential fundamentals of human community: trust, honor, integrity, effort, authenticity, and compassion. Here students learn the most important lesson of their life and that is to only depend on themselves and to work through it, no matter how difficult it is, by yourself.

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Your fantasy tour guide:

-Ali Hamza

7 ways to solve problem; Using Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

It is powerful tool to counter and solve certain problems we face in our daily lives. It only matters the ways to reach the possible best solution of the problem and minimizing its effects. As mindfulness depends upon how one’s mind react and approach a problem, so there may be many possible ways to reach the dedicated solution.

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Here are some ways to reach the solution using mindfulness:

 

Expression:

Put negative feelings or thoughts into words. Describe your feelings as concisely as possible; don’t engage in a long conversation about the details of the emotion. This allows you to objectively state your thoughts without getting hung up on the emotions surrounding the core problem and without letting your emotions cover the intensity of real problem.

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Being Human:

Understand that your beliefs are sometimes driven by emotion. They are subconscious, automatic thoughts that can be illogical, invalid, or biased. Believing that you can make certain errors in understanding and proposing a solution. This plays an important role in the problem solving as you become conscious to understand the possibility of errors and take steps with extreme care rather than busting right to solution without proper evidence.

 

Know to Compromise:

Accept that your perception is limited. Your understanding of the situation is only one side of the story. Try to interpret the situation differently, change its meaning, or view it from another person’s perspective. Sometimes you have to compromise on the decisions that may show you as somehow not in control but still proposes the best possible solution to the problem. Compromising on your self-esteem and thinking of solving the problem on higher scale, that is what matters at the end every time.

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Take Opinion of others:

Once you’ve shared your feelings about the situation, allow others to do the same. By this you will know how other approach this situation and may suggest a possible better and more accurate solution to the problem.

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 Use a Bridge:

It is helpful to have a mediator involved if tensions are high. The mediator is there to create an environment that is conducive to open communication, ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard. Communication and as already said expression plays a major part in the solution to a problem. It is always advised to use as a third party to ensure that situation remains intact and in order. Just to ensure that possible contact may not give birth to further problems it is always wise to consider involving a mediator to work out the environment.

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Break the problem down into smaller pieces:

Solving a problem can sometimes seem overwhelming and impossible. To decrease anxiety, think more clearly and break the problem down. Identify the different parts it consists of. Then figure out one practical solution you can take for each of those parts. Use those solutions.

They may not solve the whole problem immediately. But those solutions can get you started and might solve a few pieces of it.

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Find the opportunity and/or lesson within the problem:

I have found that there is always a positive side to a problem. Perhaps it alerts us of a great way to improve our relations or teaches us how our lives perhaps aren’t as bad as we thought.

Finding this more positive part of the problem reduces its negative emotional impact. You may even start to see the situation as a great opportunity for you.

When you are faced with a problem ask yourself:

What is the good thing about this?

What can I learn from this?

What hidden opportunity can I find within this problem?

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At the end conclude your solution in the best way possible and make sure to double check and ensure that it doesn’t end up creating anymore problems rather than solving them.

 

Happy problem solving! 🙂

 

Regards,

-Ali Hamza

5 best ways to prepare a camping menu

Hello world!

How are you? It’s been quite a wonderful day till now; the sun is shining, the kids have waddled off to their schools, the air is clean and my belly is thankfully stuffed with mommy made parathay.  Wallahhi! This taste *rolls eyes*  is out of the world. Especially if you are a hostalite and have realized the EHMIYAT of mommy made food!

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Anyways back to the point, considering the food problems that students who live at hostels suffer from makes me realize that there are a million other places where food making, eating and  serving are a real problem. One such occasion happens to be when we are out camping. Making food and apparently serving it to a great number of people can actually leave the maker and the server of the food in a suffocating tight little spot. So here are a few hacks that you could always keep rolled up your sleeve to prepare the best meal while camping

 

CANNED FOOD

Listen to me love, whilst camping the easiest method to stuff your face with some food is by carrying canned food with you. Canned soups, rice dishes and even halwas are available in wide range these days. So go ahead ease up your life and go buy yourself some canned food. But there is a drawback to this method as this might prove expensive when you are out camping with a bunch of people.

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FROZEN FOOD

Try carrying a portable ice stuffed cooler with you and stuff all your pre frozen food in it. This could sort out your food problems while you are out on a short camping trip. You could always carry frozen marinated meat of any kind. Pop it out on a skillet grill it or fry it and you could enjoy your meal with your friends and family. If you are not a big meat fan you can always carry porridge, which happens to be both nutritious and scrumptious

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TRY OUT EASY RECIPIES

When out in wilderness food choices are limited mainly due to limited supplies. Under such situations it is always nice to have a few easy peasy recipes by your side so that you are able to whip up something real quick. Here are few recipes that might help.

 

Campfire Breakfast Potatoes

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Recipe here!

Oh why! You are welcome! *Wink! Wink!*

 

 Campfire scrambled eggs

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Recipe here

 

 Carry some snacks

Carrying some snacks with you while camping is an easy way to settle those hunger pangs. It’s always beneficial to carry snacks that are healthy, have high nutritional value and are easy to carry. Examples of such snacks include granola bars, nuts and energy biscuits

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SWEET TREATS

One word for you! MARSHMELLOWS! Just roast them up while sitting next to a campfire and indulge in that gooey goodness

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I hope these ideas help

Happy munching!

Ayesha Hameed

Yellow Boat of Hope

The Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation provides yellow school boats and other modes of transport and structures (such as bridges, schools, dormitories, etc.) to help children get to school, primarily because they are struggling through water and over large expanses of land to get to school.

The Role is to help bridge the existing gap between poverty and education, and fill it with hope. Education is hope. Education is their way out of poverty.


Operational Principles

“The great thing a little lamp can do which the big sun cannot do is to give light at night. It shows no one is superior by size but by purpose. If we cannot do great things, we can do small things in a greater way. Little things make a big difference to God.”

 

 

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 Mission

Making the world a better place for children’s education.

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The Yellow Boat has been taken to the US, Singapore, India, France, Italy, Spain and now Pakistan.

It has been applauded and appreciated throughout the globe and is receiving support from all around. It has taken the social media by fire and is now spreading very rapidly. The Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation has received many donations and volunteers through social media. Although it has just started in Pakistan, it is considered to bring hope unto the life all those suffering from the adversaries of water in Pakistan. As due to yearly floods in many regions of Pakistan, people are left isolated from their daily routine.

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Ali Hamza

Nine tips to handle homesickness

As the car backed off and the smoke faded away, my eyes welled up. I dragged my luggage to my dormitory where I saw three new faces, two nervous, like me, and one sleeping. I stood my trolley beside the bunk bed and exited that room without saying a word to anyone. As soon as I left the room tears started to stain my cheeks. I had heard about homesickness but now I really got to know that it hits you like a truck and leaves you sobbing like baby.

*inserts a pouting sad face*

Okaaaaayy!!!

Yup! you got that right that was my horrendous, first day at the university hostel. I know many of you can well relate to the feeling of homesickness. No matter how strong you are, this monstrous feeling will find you and it will definitely get to you! Heck! It gets to the best of us! But then we can’t pack our bags and run off to mommy. Matters of life must be dealt with. So here are a few tips to deal with homesickness

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Focus on the purpose

Whether you are out for traveling or work or whether you are out to study, homesickness can get to you. So remember the purpose of being there. This will aid adaptation process and give you the drive to work through any difficult feelings you may be having.

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Skype it up!

When you have hundreds of miles between you and your loved ones and you miss your dear ones to death then that’s the time technology comes to rescue your life. Video conferencing mediums like skype are a perfect way to kiss your loneliness goodbye. Skype with your friends and family, trust me it helps.

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Talk it out

You know if you only stop being so reserved and emotionless for once and talk to a friend about all the emotions build up in you, this could actually help you counter the feeling of alienation and isolation.

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Look forward to holidays

Look forward to holidays, those are the times you can actually hope for a family reunion. This will help you from feeling blue all the time. You can even take this point as a reward for your all years’ hard work and push yourself to do your best.

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Engage yourself in activities

Go ahead and engage yourself in activities. Talk to people and socialize, that way you can divert your mind from all the feelings of aloofness. My humble suggestion would by sports.

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Proactive socializing

This one goes best for all those university sophomores. Consider your time at university the best time to socialize and meet new friends. You can do this by joining clubs, societies and student centers. Socialize proactively as you may not find another time in your life to do so! Socializing can also be educational. It can teach you how to interact with individuals and to what extent you should socialize with them.

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Keep yourself busy

Keep yourself busy always! Do not sit idle! You know what they say an empty mind is devils workshop, well sitting idle can not only give you devious ideas but also can make you feel blue.

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Keep something to remind you of home

Have something that reminds you of home or makes you feel at home. Maybe keep your mom’s sweater or a shirt with you. Sleep in it at times and it will help you get rid of all the feelings of isolation. Or keep a picture of your family with you. It helps. It really does!

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Ask for professional help

In my opinion this is a little farfetched and only a very few times situation can actually get this much out of hands that you may need professional help. And this one is basically for international students.  When talking to your friends or your family isn’t enough, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your higher education provider. They know the pressures that international students face and will be able to direct you to a range of international student support services such as counselling, recreational activities, social clubs and mentoring programs.

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Cry it out

Well this one really doesn’t count but you know when nothing is working out go ahead and cry yourself out.

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I hope these tips help you out.

Peace out!

Yours sincerely

Ayesha Hameed

Must Try Dishes Of Pakistan

Hello Earthlings!

Ramadan is over and I hope you would have preserved its blessings. Ramadan reminds me of fasting and fasting reminds me of food. And not just any food I tell you, but the yummy, spicy, rich desi food of the Pakistani cuisine. Oh man they make my mouth water.

DISCLAIMER:

*read at your own risk!!The writer of this article apologizes the supreme power in advance for ruining the diet of anybody who reads this*

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Halwa Puri and Lassi

Okay! Okay! I am sorry but I had to add it in. And by any chance if you do not know what halwa puri and lassi is, then my friend you sure reside under a rock, because this stuff tastes like heavens *sighs* Basically puri happens to be a puffed up bread made up of flour and halwa is a sweet dish usually made up of semolina while lassi is quite a viscous drink made up of milk, oh so soothing yoghurt and sugar. Usually this is served with a chickpeas, pickles and salad. Oh and hear me out loud and clear this stuff WILL make you fall asleep, especially lassi.

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And if I were you and had to eat halwa puri no matter what then, I will recommend you to go to one place and only one place, THE ANARKALI!  People of anarkali are in halwa puri selling business for decades. You can never go wrong with halwa puri of anarkali!

 

MULTANI CHAMPAIN

If you have ever been to Multan’s ghainta ghar you will know what an amazing experience it is to eat those champain while sipping that bantay wali bottle at roadside with the tumult of the food stalls and the passersby. Champain are basically lamb chops that have been marinated with species, flattened with hammer, fried, grilled and then served with salad, special chutney and roti. Oh man! I am drooling already!

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SAAG AND MAKKI KI ROTI

The name of sag and makki ki roti tingle my taste buds! Saag happens to be a dish made up of all leafy green veggies like mustard and spinach while makki ki roti is flat soft bread made up of gram flour. It’s basically a summer dish which is served with dollops of butter and salted lassi to go along.

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BIRYANI

Biryani happens to be the mother of all the rice dishes in this world .Yup you heard that right folks! In my opinion it stands out as emperor of the rice empire! It’s a spicy dish that is basically made by layering rice over slow cooked meat stew. Then these layers are mixed and voila! Biryani is all set to be eaten. It’s served with raita and salad.

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Oh and if you desire to eat the best biryani in town, take advice from a professional biryani tester BIRYANI NA YAHN KI ACHI NA WAHN KI ACHI BIRYANI SIRF AMMI KI ACHI HOTI HAI! Trust me on this one folks, its true! Aaaand following is the consequence of what happens when you get AMMI K hath ki BIRYANI!

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PULAO

If biryani is the emperor then this baby sure is the wazir! Pulao is rice dish cooked in chicken stalk or mutton stalk. It’s also served with raita and salad

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GAJAR KA HALWA

Yup!Yup!You guessed it right it’s the sweet dish that makes everyone go gaga at the wedding dinners. This beauty is stuff of heavens I tell you, HEAVENS! I remember my grandma making it for us when we were kids. It’s a slow cooked sweet dish made up of carrots and milk garnished with nuts

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I hope this much is enough to make you feel hungry!

Happy munching

Sayonara

AYESHA HAMEED

10 ways to be successful

Walt Disney, American animator and entrepreneur probably stood ahead of everyone in queue of accomplished and successful people. But this case has not always been true.  Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but it wasn’t all about dollar bills right from the start. Rather Disney had quite a bumpy start as he was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended up with bankruptcy and failure, not a motivating start if you ask me! However Disney kept working hard and finally found a solution for success. Winston Churchill was never too wrong to say that success consists of going failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 

 

Think big

Always think big they say, but remember the first step to that colossal dream of yours is small and may even be futile and exhausting. That is the time not to lose hope. Rather that it’s the time to gather together all your strengths and work tirelessly.

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Do what you love and love what you do

 

Find your passion and turn it into your profession and work tirelessly. Trust me love, success will come kissing at your feet. David frost couldn’t say it any better, “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”

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 Via: clipart.me

 

Set goals

Set goals for your life. Research says setting goals and working to pursue them can increase the chances of attaining your goals. But do not only set monetary and career goals rather set goals for your personal life. Find time for your own self, read books, may be learn a new language or take yourself on holiday or give time to your family.

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Via: worldasartme.com

 

Believe in yourself

Once you have set your goals, believe in yourself that you will attain them, keep yourself motivated, and hold your head high and hike your way to the top of mountain of success. From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

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                                                                                      Via: shuttershock.com

 

Have a positive attitude

Always have a positive attitude no matter what. On your route to success you will always be faced by challenges, a few steep slopes and always! OH ALWAYS! Haters! But you know what they say haters gonna hate! So let it be and maintain a positive attitude.

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Via: bmspaces.com

 

Deal with challenges

Remember to deal with challenges boldly. On your trek to High Mountain of success remember that every kind of challenge and difficulty will present you, sometimes in the most weirdest and oddest manner and it is not necessary to win against them every time. The fact that counts is that you try hard and that you don’t let your courage waver.

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Via: mdpta.com

 

Socialize

Once on your road to success you will meet new people. And all these people will be different not all of them will be sugar spice and everything nice. Umm well some of them might just be the tomatoes you can’t resist picking out of your burger every single time. Learn how to deal with people, learn how to sociali

 

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                                                                                           Via: clipartkid.com

 

Invest

According to life hacks, something potential successful people do quietly is invest. Whether you are investing in real estate or stocks, giving away all your personal details can come off as crass if the people you’re sharing this with are not as financially secure. Additionally, giving away too much information about your investments is another way to give competitors information which they can use to further their pursuits.
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 Via: canstock.com

 

Stay humble

Don’t let success get to your head remain humble and down to earth. Always remember your roots and the point where you started from. Nobody likes an arrogant buffoon anyway!

 

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Follow your gut feeling

Hey! Everybody follows their heart so why not give your gut a little try once in a while! Take it from Steve jobs, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

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Love

Ayesha Hameed

 

7 things that make a great leader

 

Good leaders do things well. Great leaders teach and inspire others to do things well. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime! The same concept applies to leadership.

The best-performing leaders that do and teach, instill confidence in their team and share their vision with others, making them accountable while providing guidance and coaching at the same time.

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                                                                       Image Source: mattparkerkidsalive.net 

So what characteristics do great leaders possess? They…

  1. Face the facts, no matter how brutal they may be.

Bad news is part of a business. Great leaders don’t just wait for it, they seek it. Rather than waiting until a task or project is completed, they look for red flags and identify when it’s off-track to reach the stated objective. And they don’t kill the messenger—when an individual points out underperforming or failing projects, these leaders appreciate the fact that it was brought to their attention. Identifying the problems earlier gives them extra time to find the possible solution.

  1. Take accountability seriously.

Executives want to get regular updates on all projects, whether it’s a weekly task or primary objective of the project. They hold people accountable to do what they should be doing and completing the tasks on their plate. If goals aren’t being met, great leaders take the opportunity to discuss, gather insight, and make the adjustments necessary for the individuals and the team to win.

  1. Look for bright spots.

Great leaders actively look for not just good news, but victories that can be replicated across other departments and teams. It’s their job to observe and identify how these victories happened so the same strategies can be implemented elsewhere in their team for even greater success.

  1. Develop and prioritize winning moves.

Implementing too many strategies can spread a team too thin and result in things falling through the cracks. Instead, great leaders focus on several key strategies, which they discuss and debate with their executive teams before deciding on which ones will bring them closer to reaching its goals. Powerful winning moves will come from strategic thinking and decision-making, considering all the options and determining success.

  1. Focus on the best and brightest.

It’s easy to get distracted by new ideas and strategies. But if a goal is big and bold enough, everyone will feel excited to work for it. Rather than working on a bunch of smaller, less exciting ideas, a great leader will recognize the strategies that will motivate and inspire their teams to push toward success.

  1. Plan successful quarters.

Focusing on annual goals is great, but quarterly goals are the ones that get you there, and great leaders know that each week in a quarter is crucial. The best of them focus on having successful weeks so they can achieve the right results at the end of the quarter. For them it is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Each leg of the race (or quarter) supports the end goal—helping you reach the finish line in first place.

  1. Encourage consistency but not complacency.

Getting into a rhythm can help any idea processes become as regular as breathing, but this doesn’t mean you should rest once you get there. When your project is predictable, growth stagnates and success can reach a limit. However, when a project is consistent, great leaders take that opportunity to focus on what’s needed to take it to the next level.

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                                                                        Image Source: www.relatably.com

5 ways to prepare adventure

 

We Humans, seek experiences that enrich our lives and challenge us so we can return home, transformed and upgraded. The places we’ve visited are no longer faraway dots on a map, but are instead filled with memories of the faces of people we’ve met on our trip.

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What lies ahead is uncertain. What if there was a way to travel and make deliberate decisions that would not only help to change our own lives, but also the lives of the people in those places? Is it possible to align your travel approach and spend decisions with your values? And how to prepare for an Adventure?

Here are the 5 basics to prepare yourself for an adventure:

  1. Define adventure for yourself

People tend to think of an adventure as something hazardous or dangerous; if that gives you a pause, perhaps think of it as something enjoyable, unique, and a departure from your routine.

What qualifies as an adventure depends upon you — your perspectives, desires, experiences, and so on. One man’s adventure may be another’s routine. Don’t worry about how others may define it; if it feels like an adventure to you, it is one.

 

  1. Seek inspiration

Even if it is up to you to determine your own adventures, examining the adventurous lives of others can help clarify your own goals, desires, and limits.
Plan for the unplanned. Don’t wait for the perfect time to take an adventure, because the perfect time will never come. That’s just an excuse people make for not going.

Do a little less planning than you’re comfortable doing. Pack your suitcase as normal, then force yourself to repack using a suitcase half the size.

 

  1. Mental preparation

Mentally you need to get out of automatic pilot. Focusing your mind is the best way to face an adventure. You have to separate the risks that might happen from the present moment by taking things one day at a time. Hike your way out while convincing yourself that you will eventually get to the other side of Inyo National Forest, in the southern Sierra Mountains, and go home riding a dusty van waiting on the other side.

 

  1. Don’t fear your fear

Courage is the mastery of fear, not the elimination of it. Fear is part of what makes an adventure an adventure.

Master your fear not only of undertaking an adventure, but of failing at it. You know the saying about the journey being more important than the destination? Well, taking on the challenge of learning to surf is more important, and personally rewarding, than whether or not you can stay on your board and ride in a big wave.

 

  1. Finding the strength for a Warrior

 Before starting your adventure, it was your destiny with few MF staffers to join a Warrior, You are convinced that you can handle the situation not even knowing what is around the corner. You believe that you can manage muscle confusion and mud pits, aside from enduring the fatigue of blazing heat on your way to the finish line—wherever it is. You still believe you are getting into an epic adventure partially blind. But knowing your limits is power, not a weakness.

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                                                                          Image Source: quotesgram.com

Ali Hamza

5 ways to combine Vision and Action

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.
Joel A. Barker

 

Do you get great ideas and then plan and plan, and plan some more? After all, you want to get the details just right before you execute the ideas.

Or are you more like the converse and jump headlong into something without having a clear understanding of it? The details will work themselves out as you go.

 

The fear of making a wrong move leads people to rehash the scenarios again and again.  They may even think that their critical focus on the possible outcome is actually productive.  After all, it’s hard work to determine the right path to take!  Sadly, despite all their efforts and good intentions to do the right thing, they are merely spinning their wheels.

 

Then there is the fact that, for many things in life, there are just too many options from which to choose.  You’d think that having lots of choices available would allow us to be able to achieve exactly what we want. The reality is that the more choices we have available, the worse our decision-making skills become.

 

Not a good place to be, is it? To feel like you are longingly looking out the window at what might be, but never attaining it can be downright depressing! “Vision without action” is not a good option.

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Here are a few combinations as you go through your Vision and let the action begin:

  1. Be Confident, Not Over-confident!

One reason why someone may choose to act without a clear vision is overconfidence in their abilities (“Ah, everything will be fine — I know what I’m doing!”) This behavior, unfortunately, only ends up being a classic demonstration of the scenario where everyone is “above average.”

 

  1. Be Precise, Not Hasty:

Then there are others who perceive anything that is not hands-on “getting things done” as being a waste of time. It’s just do, do, and do all the time. But what if they are doing unnecessary tasks or activities that don’t really relate to the bigger picture? “Action without vision” doesn’t work, either.

 

  1. Be Balanced:

The only real solution is to strike the middle ground — use a good balance of vision and action to achieve successful outcomes. Depending on the circumstances, the balance may shift to favor either vision or action, but there remains a need to incorporate both activities.

 

  1. Be Patient:

When pursuing your vision with calculated actions there can always be errors which couldn’t be tackled even if u wished to or even were ready for them already, they are there no matter what! And to be clear they actually are there for the betterment in the coming future. Be patient and hold on to your vision and don’t stop doing hard work.

 

  1. Remember Essentials:

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first: hard work; second: stick-to-itiveness; third: common sense.

Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged. At that instance remember the essentials and revise them. Surely there’ll come out a way and you later have a good laugh over it that how easy it was and how it helped in the completion your vision.

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                                                                    Image Source: garyjeffress.com
Ali Hamza

Sky Is Our Limit

Hello my lovely readers!

I have been thinking quite a lot about entrepreneurial ventures and women empowerment. It’s quite surprising, but let me tell you that Pakistan has been doing a wonderful job on both the forums. Below is list of young promising Pakistani entrepreneurs who believe that sky is their limit!

Zymal Umer

Zymal is nine years old. She didn’t wait for the opportunity to knock on her door to show off her talents rather Zymal happens to have a “let’s do this right now, right here” kind of attitude. She is the proud initiator of the project “zee bags”. She started this startup all on her own when she was sad to see the harm that plastic shopping bags did to our environment. Zymal makes bags out of newspaper and biodegradable material and sells them for 70 rupees. The profit gained from this startup is given to underprivileged children. Zymal has been awarded several awards and has gained international recognition for her services rendered to the environment. One notable award that she achieved is Prince Abdul-Aziz Bin Abdullah International Award in the category of “Children Pioneer Award” in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She puts us all to shame for not giving back to the environment.1                      Source: https://propakistani.pk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Zymal-Umer-Curcle-700×384.png

*Clears throat*

Remind me again what you were doing at age nine?

Yeah I was eating dirt too! -_-

Saba Gull

Saba Gull is definitely more than just an entrepreneur; she is a ray of hope and motivation for all of us. Saba happens to have a very bright academic background as an alumnus of MIT from where she got a BS and MS in Computer Science and Economics respectively. She was an MIT public service fellow in Sri Lanka where she worked on project of providing low cost Solar Lightening Systems to Tsunami refugees. Saba is also the proud owner of the Popinjay, which has been rebranded from BLISS. BLISS was initially a non-profit organization where she was providing employment to the unskilled women in Pakistan. It has now launched itself as a profit generating organization so that the products produced compete in  fashion industry where quality and demand fulfillment can take flight and bring more revenue. Within a short span of time Saba has drawn the international limelight towards her as the Popinjay has already been published in Vogue, NBC, Huffington post and Al-Jazeera. Saba’s BLISS still continues to hire unskilled women and train them to earn a livelihood for themselves. Way to go girl!*pats back*

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Source: http://loveinfinitely.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/saba.jpg

Fiza Farhan

Fiza farhan happens to be the 30th name on the forbes social entreprenures under 30 list. she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Buksh Foundation in addition she is also the Director of Buksh Energy Pvt Ltd. Buksh Foundation works to bring clean energy projects to the remote and rural areas of Pakistan. In these  4 years since its initiation, the Buksh Foundation has trained 135 women as energy entrepreneurs and has brought solar-powered lights to 6,750 households. The foundation has extended business and clean energy loans to as many as 12,000 entrepreneurs. And yup this girl has all golden stars on her acdemic profile.She has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the reknownked Warwick Business School and a bs degree from LUMS. Keep  up the good work, more power to you girl!

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Source: https://www.google.com.pk/search?q=fiza+farhan+buksh+foundation&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjU28zotdbNAhWCzRQKHROAB7MQ_AUICCgB&biw=1366&bih=623#imgrc=gAENbkVZtUh8fM%3A

Kalsoom lakhani

Kalsoom Lakhani is the Founder/CEO of Invest2Innovate. Invest to innovate or i2i happens to be a startup incubator, umm…yes not Tahir Shahs eye to eye. The program aims to help the entrepreneurs by developing their basic understanding of business. It is a four month program during which young entrepreneurs meet the investors and learn from skilled entrepreneurs. I2I produces young entrepreneurs who know the demand of market and the scope and horizons of there business. Kalsoom is also the co-founder of The Hero Project, a storytelling platform that celebrates everyday hidden heroes. She was previously a Washington, D.C. co-ambassador for Sandbox, a global network of innovators under 30, now called The Thousand Network, and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers. Kalsoom also founded the popular blog, CHUP in January 2008 which urges for change in Pakistan ., Lakhani has written for the Washington Post, The Next Web, the Huffington Post, Foreign Policy, Next Billion and Pakistan’s Dawn Newspaper…*slow claps*

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Source: https://cdn.techjuice.pk/wp-                       content/uploads/2013/11/374013814703e11288d6eb5919b0366a626191ef.jpg

These ladies have made Pakistan proud and we as Pakistanis are happy to have these girls. These daughters of land of pure are a blessing. More power to you girls.

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Guess what!? We just did

Keep it up!

Much love

Ayesha Hameed

7 ways to make a positive impact on society

Ola people!

Today I had my nerd mode on and I was reading. I happened to stumble upon something that was quite resonating. It was a quote from 20th century anarchist Emma Goldman. She once said “the most violent element in society is ignorance.” It’s a little too saddening to say that this statement stands rather true for our society. By every passing day our community is deteriorating, worsening and collapsing and I believe its sole reason is ignorance. The only hope to reinstate the condition of our society to a prosperous and healthy one is by creating a huge positive impact within it.

 

Wake up

WAKE UP! No seriously, please do! And when I say wake up it doesn’t mean to wake up literally early in the morning after a goodnight’s sleep. It means to wake up from that mental slumber of yours and have a good look at the short comings in our community. It’s high time we realized that this is OUR society, WE make it and WE break it!

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Count your blessings

We people are blessed with possibly every necessary and unnecessary thing in this word. We are educated and have opinions upon every issue ranging from American presidential elections to the best suited hair color for Zain Malik. But a community is never composed of people of same monetary status, education and mental level. Not everyone is lucky enough to enjoy the same luxuries as us. Therefore try counting your blessings and start being thankful for everything that you have. That is the only way to be thankful, contented and to realize what others feel without having them by your side. Try counting them; trust me you will run out of fingers to count upon the blessing

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 Change yourself

Our society is formed by every single one of us. Without us there is no society. Changing ourselves can have a huge impact on our community. You may have heard that a little goes a long way, believe me it does! Start with the baby steps; maybe start smiling more often, or using kind words or simply by thanking the people who work under you wholeheartedly. Hey! Charity always begins at home. Change yourself, inspire others to change and watch your community progress! Or to put it in words of Han soul Kim Make a difference in yourself, for the better. Such an inward difference always has rippling outward benefits.

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Acknowledge the power within you

Know yourself! What you like, what you dislike, what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses. And then improve your weak points and polish the strengths. Utilize your energy positively and take your first step towards creating a positive impact on your society. Maria Thieme couldn’t put it more accuratelyAcknowledge the light within myself and in others. Not always easy to do but feels so powerful when I am able to do so.”

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 Observe and Act

Observe the things and events happening around you. Keep an eye on news. Have your own opinions and do not be afraid of sharing them with everyone around you. Observe and then act accordingly after all you have to” Be more involved in the world. You can’t be a spectator forever.”

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 Inspire others

Change yourself and encourage others to change as well. As I said earlier, change yourself. Inspire others to change and watch your community progress! You can always work fine by yourself but you know what they say the more the merrier. And anyway an impact is never created all alone. You need people to do that and what better way to involve people than by inspiring them.

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Result

Follow the aforementioned steps and create an impact upon your society. Your impact maybe as small as convincing people to smile at each other while passing through the streets or as huge as convincing a village’s women and men to send their kids to study , result will be common at the end which is  internal satisfaction and a sense of purpose of life.

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7 places to visit in Pakistan

Pakistan is not all what the news channels and newspapers portray it as. There’s a lot more to it apart from just terrorism, politics, and all sorts of other problems. You must have had at least one person say the following to you when you asked him/her about Pakistan: “Pakistan? It is too dangerous.” But how can one just judge the situation of Pakistan without travelling it? It isn’t as bad as it is portrayed. And so what if Pakistan is facing problems? No country is problem-free.

So if anybody plans on travelling around the country, here’s a list of places that must be visited:

 

  • Neelam Valey: Opposite to the Keran sector of Indian-held Kashmir. From the Chella Bandi Bridge – just north of Azaad Kashmir’s capital Muzaffarabad – to Tau Butt, a valley stretches out for 240 kilometres; it is known as the Neelum Valley (literally, the Blue Gem Valley).

Neelum is one of the most beautiful valleys of Azaad Kashmir, and it hosts several brooks, freshwater streams, forests, lush green mountains, and a river. Here, you see cataracts falling down the mountains; their milky-white waters flowing over the roads and splashing against the rocks, before commingling with the muddy waters of River Neelum.1                                                         Image Source: www.pakistantoursguide.pk

 

  • Lake Saif-ul-Malook:This beauty is located at the northern end of Kaghan Valley. It is in the north-east of Mansehra Division of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Not only the mountains surrounding it make the place beautiful, but its reflection in the lake is definitely breathtaking! Su mmers are a good time to go there using the jeeps. However, in winter, it can take quite long to get here and sometimes the jeeps aren’t a good option considering slippery paths.2                                                                       Image Source: www.dawn.com

 

 

  • Kalash Valley:Resting in the Chitral District, this heaven is home to the Kalasha tribe. They construct their homes with logs on the hill sides. The valley is not only famous for its beauty but also the colorful lifestyle, cult ure and festivals.3

Image Source: www.pakjourney.com

 

  • Hingol National Park:This is one of the largest national parks in Pakistan. It rests on the Makran Coast in Balochistan. The topographical features vary from barren forests in north to cooler regions in the west that have regular rainfall. They are home to different plants and animals. Hingol National Park is known to support at least 35 species of mammals, 65 species of amphibians and reptiles and 185 species of birds.4

Image Source: www.wildlife.pk

 

  • Wagah Border:This is the border between Lahore, Pakistan and Amritsar in India. It is famous for its daily flag-lowering ceremony which is carried out by both countries before sunset. The gates are unlocked and the soldiers from both countries carry out a parade which then leads to lowering the flags, folding them, handshake between soldiers from either side and shutting the gates. All of this is witnessed daily by spectators in Amritsar and Lahore every day, with chanting and singing.5

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  • Mohenjo-daro:It is an ancient Indus Valley Civilization city that flourished between 2600 and 1900 BCE. Located in the Larkana district of Sindh, Mohenjo-daro means ‘mound of the dead’. Although no greenery around, this dry landscape is a beauty itself and its history is what makes it standout today.6

                                                                       Image Source: www.nationalgeographic.com

 

  • Ranikot Fort: Ranikot, with a circumference of about 26 km, is the largest fort in the world. However, this has not been enough to convince the authorities to develop it as a major tourist attraction.

This fort is easily accessible from Karachi through the National Highway. After departing from Karachi, head to Dadu through on the Indus Highway. The road is in excellent condition. It’s an hour-long journey to San, the home of Sindhi nationalist, GM Syed. A little further from the town there comes a diversion. A rusty board announces that Ranikot is some 30 km away. Even though the road is in pathetic condition, the distance can be covered in 30 to 40 minutes.7

Image Source: www.travelpk.org

8 Hacks to increase productivity

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Identify the Essentials

A great place to start is identifying what items you need to perform your job. We’re getting back to basics here. Determine what your bare essentials are and then give each item a designated place where it is always within an arm’s reach.

What should you do with the non-essentials you’ve had lying around? Toss them, file them, gift them, or return them to the appropriate person or place.

Set expectations

It is important to set firm, clear, and concise expectations for any group. Accountability will not grow where team members are unsure of the group’s purpose and vision. Teams need to know what is expected of them before they are expected to be held accountable.

Set goals with realistic deadlines

Unfortunately, goals can get derailed when assigning them with unrealistic deadlines. Deadlines are imperative to productivity, but they can be quite the opposite when they are seen as un-doable or even threatening.

Measure progress

Measure the progress of team members in alignment with the goals and expectations set out at the beginning. Goals can only be measured when they are quantified. Compare the measured results to the goals to find out where team members need the most improvement.

Provide feedback

After setting clear expectations, committing to set goals, and measuring progress, it is important to provide feedback to team members so that there can be improvement towards the goal. When creating a culture of accountability, make sure that the feedback that you do give highlights both the positive things that the team member has done and the areas where they can improve.

Stop multi-tasking

New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work (and drops our IQ by 5 point). Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. (It’s all about practice!)

Evaluate effectiveness
Not all methods of operation are effective! Waiting until the end of the process or project to evaluate the effectiveness can severely hamper the potential of you as

an individual or your team as a whole. Step aside and assess the plan and the participating team members. Evaluate the effectiveness of each component, good and bad, in relation to the goal and mission.

Be flexible

Pro tip: Always leave about 15 minutes of “cushion time” in between items on the to-do list or calendar in case something pops up and if a crisis does strike, the most important thing is to remember to stop and breathe.

Summary:

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7 things that make a great leader

Good leaders do things well. Great leaders teach and inspire others to do things well. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime! The same concept applies to leadership.

The best-performing leaders that do and teach, instill confidence in their team and share their vision with others, making them accountable while providing guidance and coaching at the same time.1

                                                                     Image Source: mattparkerkidsalive.net 

So what characteristics do great leaders possess? They…

  1. Face the facts, no matter how brutal they may be.

Bad news is part of a business. Great leaders don’t just wait for it, they seek for it. Rather than waiting until a task or project is completed, they look for red flags and identify when it’s off-track to reach the stated objective. And they don’t kill the messenger—when an individual points out underperforming or failing projects, these leaders appreciate the fact that it was brought to their attention. Identifying the problems earlier gives them extra time to find the possible solution.

  1. Take accountability seriously.

Executives want to get regular updates on all projects, whether it’s a weekly task or primary objective of the project. They hold people accountable to do what they should be doing and completing the tasks on their plate. If goals aren’t being met, great leaders take the opportunity to discuss, gather insight, and make the adjustments necessary for the individuals and the team to win.

  1. Look for bright spots.

Great leaders actively look for not just good news, but victories that can be replicated across other departments and teams. It’s their job to observe and identify how these victories happened so the same strategies can be implemented elsewhere in their team for even greater success.

  1. Develop and prioritize winning moves.

Implementing too many strategies can spread a team too thin and result in things falling through the cracks. Instead, great leaders focus on several key strategies, which they discuss and debate with their executive teams before deciding on which ones will bring them closer to reaching its goals. Powerful winning moves will come from strategic thinking and decision-making, considering all the options and determining success.

  1. Focus on the best and brightest.

It’s easy to get distracted by new ideas and strategies. But if a goal is big and bold enough, everyone will feel excited to work for it. Rather than working on a bunch of smaller, less exciting ideas, a great leader will recognize the strategies that will motivate and inspire their teams to push toward success.

  1. Plan successful quarters.

Focusing on annual goals is great, but quarterly goals are the ones that get you there, and great leaders know that each week in a quarter is crucial. The best of them focus on having successful weeks so they can achieve the right results at the end of the quarter. For them it is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Each leg of the race (or quarter) supports the end goal—helping you reach the finish line in first place.

  1. Encourage consistency but not complacency.

Getting into a rhythm can help any idea processes become as regular as breathing, but this doesn’t mean you should rest once you get there. When your project is predictable, growth stagnates and success can reach a limit. However, when a project is consistent, great leaders take that opportunity to focus on what’s needed to take it to the next level.

2                                                                           Image Source: www.relatably.com

4 International cultural facts about Pakistan

Literature and Poetry
Literature is an important aspects of our cultural life. Most of our poets reflect Islamic code and deliver the message of love and brotherhood. Similarity of thought among poets and writers of all regions is an important factor of our cultural life.
Sufi poets occupy an honored place. Sufis like Lal Shahbaz, Data Ganj Baksh, Shah Abdul Lateef, Sachal Sarmast, Hazrat Sultan Bahu and Waris Shah rendered meritorious services for the spread of Islam in the subcontinent and aided in the betterment of literature and poetry.1

Image source: www.dawn.com

Dress and Diet
Dress is an important manifestation of culture. Regional dresses of Pakistan have under gone changes due to local traditions, economic conditions, and wealth. But in all provinces people generally wear the traditional dress by Salwar Kameez.
The food we consume is famous all across globe for its unique and diverse taste. Many people around the world visit Pakistan just to taste and the exquisite cuisines and traditional dishes of Pakistan.2

Image Source: www.vedarestaurant.ie
Arts and Architecture
The iconoclasm in subcontinent due to its historical past, has given a characteristic form and pattern in the use of elegant designs, based on geometric figures and floral forms borrowed from nature. The Shah Jahan Mosque, Shalimar Garden, Badshahi Mosque, Shahi Qilaan many such graceful buildings are a living proof of the splendid Mughal architecture. In many countries workers mastered in arts are called from Pakistan to design and give unique royal taste we are known for.3

Image Source: www.defence.pk

Handicrafts
Embroidery, leather works, glazed pottery, wood work, carpet making, metal crafts, and ivory are the essential parts of our culture. Pakistani craftsmen are considered the best in their craftsmanship. They are known for the high quality works which is very popular in foreign countries.4

Image Source: www.islamabadsnob.com

Living All You Can

Are you living all you can? If so, you are one of the few lucky souls that either is born with an incredible spirit – OR one of us, who had to learn it the hard way. You can learn to live life to the fullest. It takes practice and power to defeat the habits that hold you back.1

Life is the biggest gift, be sure to use it is as one!

Image Source: www.verybestquotes.com

What keeps most people from living each day, each moment, to the fullest? Three things: Worry, Regret, and Fear.

Worry is living in the future instead of the moment. Worry is a pessimistic approach to life. When you live in worry, you’re constantly asking ‘what if this happens?’, ‘and if this happens, what if that happens? You trade your life for shadowy possibilities, piling one on top of the next until the weight becomes unbearable.

Regret is living in the past instead of the moment. Regret is a shameful approach towards life. You look behind, and wish things were different. You constantly tell yourself ‘if only I’d done that differently’, and ‘if I had done that differently, I’d been there instead of here.

Fear is living in uncertainty instead of now. Fear is a timid approach to life. When you live in fear, you hold back, denying yourself and others a world of possibilities.

The antidote to worry is refocusing on NOW. Right this moment. What do you see, what do you smell, what do you taste, what is in your lap and in your life right this minute? That is the reality.

The cure for regret is two-fold: acceptance and forgiveness. It is what it is. You are where you are. You cannot change what was, you can only build on what is. You did the best you could with all of your resources. What matters is, ‘How you go about today?’

The solution for fear is faith. You have been protected and provided for right up to this very minute. It will continue. Do well to others; will receive well in return.

Take an inventory of the things you have to be thankful for, and you will see the bigger picture. This moment will never come again. Savor it for all that is NOW. Direct your attention towards the people, places and things you’re experiencing NOW.

This is the secret of living life to the fullest.

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Decide your Mission NOW!

Image Source: www.pinterest.com

Importance of Curiosity in Society

Hello there!

I have been thinking quite a lot about advancements that have taken place around us. To be honest they are JUST TOO MUCH!!! It’s weird, but I feel a little awkward when people discuss important new features there iPhone 107 or something has, Oh! And it just doesn’t stop there. I have to embarrassingly nod and gap at whatever they speak because I am completely clueless about the foreign language they are speaking. Believe me it’s frustrating! Do you feel that too? Oh you poor soul!

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Via:https://www.google.com.pk/search?q=i+feel+you+bro

Okay! Let’s sort this out! Maybe we feel odd because we are Unaware of the developments and advances that have taken around us. And I think that the only way to shun this vice is to get curious about everything around us. Curiosity is a weird thing you know!  It gives you knowledge of known and unknown and helps you keep up with this racing world.2

Via:http://sneakingpoems.blogspot.com/2008

 

Curiosity as a behavior and emotion is attributed over millennium as the driving force behind not only human development, but developments in science, language, and industry. It was curiosity that made us rub two stones and start a fire, it was curiosity that turned a shapeless rock to a circular wheel.3                                                              Via: https://www.google.com.pk/search?sa=G&hl=en-

 

And guess what the smart phone that you are holding in your hands right now is also the work of this beauty that we call curiosity! Even the basic framework of a child’s mind is formed by curiosity. It is the age of 2 till 4 that a child questions ceaselessly and forms his perceptions about things and the drive to question this is attained by the help of curiosity!4

Via:https://www.google.com.pk/search?sa=G&hl=en-

So let’s stop feeling odd and put on our thinking caps. Let’s start taking a keen interest in our surroundings and the developments they are undergoing. I say we ask a million whys and hows every day. Know new stuff and remain updated. For the world is advancing way too quickly and it is unaffordable to be left behind. Let’s not be the odd ones anymore. Have a happy curious day.5

 

Via:http://crooksandliars.com/2014/02/astrology

 

Sayonara!

Much love

Ayesha Hameed.

Cultivating Happiness

We always seem to want those things we don’t have. Moreover, we are often convinced that if we had those things, that we want so badly, we would finally be happy.

The truth is that happiness is an attitude. It’s not something created by outside circumstances, but instead is completely within your control. You will not get that deep sense of satisfaction and happiness you crave just by getting or improving a relationship.  Nothing will give you that sense of happiness, unless you cultivate it consciously.1

Or else it will root into sorrow!

Image Source: www.wecareudaipur.org

Is the glass half empty or half full?  Life and relationships work better when the glass is half full.  Below are some simple yet specific steps you can take to cultivate happiness and see the glass half full

  1. Be grateful
    Create a sense of gratitude for what you have, for what is working, for what is wonderful and sweet in your life.  A morning or evening gratitude list, written each day, can do wonders for helping you feel grateful.
  2. Take care of yourself 
    Identify the small things in life that make you feel good, and do one daily.  A short walk, a few minutes of writing in your journal, a short meditation, watching the sunset.  Whatever reminds you that you are a human being and not a human doing will improve your outlook on life.
  3. Be creative
    Creativity and self-expression generate happiness.  Schedule some creative time each day, even if it’s just a few minutes of writing, painting, sculpting, etc.
  4. Move
    Moving our bodies generates feel-good hormones.  Move a little every day to stay happy.
  5. Get someone to take care of you
    It feels good to be taken care of, even in small ways. Get a massage, someone to carry your groceries, launder your clothes, or fix something for you.
  6. Read inspirational material
    it helps to be reminded of positive thoughts and positive attitudes.  Get a small book of positive, inspirational thoughts and read it.  Read one or two thoughts each day.
  7. Contribute
    Stand up for something that matters to you.  Contributing, making a difference feels good.  It boosts your self-esteem, your gratitude and feeling of wellbeing.
  8. Get some time
    If you are determined, you can find some time every day to just be.  Make sure you do this – it will make a big difference in your ability to be happy.
  9. Be in nature
    Nature regenerates and restores the human spirit.  Whether your brand of nature is mountains or the ocean, give yourself the gift of visiting it frequently.
  10. Be happy
    No matter how many wonderful things you do to create a positive, happy, satisfied life, you could still end up unhappy.  Ultimately, happiness, gratitude, a feeling of satisfaction is a choice.  People often do not choose happiness.  Many feel refusing to be happy will somehow get them what they want, like a child holding his breath.  Holding your breath will not get you what you want.  It is happiness that attracts.2

Happiness is not the way to live life, it is life.

Image Source: www.lifehack.org

What All Leaders Have in Common

Leadership can never be defined or attributed by a set of values. Leadership does not lie in possessing certain qualities. Certain Sociologists agree with this notion. However others disagree. Whether the quality of being a leader is innate or acquired is a never ending debate.
If we look through a broad perspective, context is a major factor in determining one’s leadership attitude. So it’s neither internal nor just external, but a hybridized form.
Context always varies with situations and the environment you are in. That is why we observe a contrast among leaders. Some are aggressive while others wear a sense of calmness. Both are leaders in their specific context. However there are certain familiar qualities that all of the leaders have.
• Perseverance
It is marked by the consistency of effort even under intense backlash or difficulty. Generally all of the great leaders have this quality. They never quit from the fear of failure. They keep knocking until they achieve.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
― Nelson Mandela1

• Adaptation
A well-known Chinese proverb says that ‘the wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher.’
Should you change your originality? No! The purpose of adaptation is to enhance your limited capabilities and be ideal. That is why we label them as ‘Larger Than Life’.

• Diligent
Ever wondered why some of the people who had the innate capacity to become good leaders, could not? That’s because it demands more than just keeping certain traits. People often claim they can do this and that but these things are abstract until they actually do it.
‘If excellence is something you’re striving for, then it’s not an accident. It’s a habit.’

• Humility
All leaders must have this quality. A leader must incorporate everyone. Leader is free from the restrictions of being egocentric. He is down upon. Never loses his identity but self identifies others.
“There’s no reason to not be humble, because as great as you may be, you can always be greater.” ― Jarod Kintz
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Personal Profiles:
http://fawadali994.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/fawadali994
Photo links:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiTir3mv8XMAhUSM8AKHRkDDTQQjBwIBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.picpicx.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F01%2Fe5e2fe201f361b5f720f8b8de9c009771.png%3F63bea7&psig=AFQjCNHYXS4GoRhRI1-P2jovYZqmYG0Y6w&ust=1462625785892351
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Too old to be curious!?

Hello people of the internet!
It’s quite a sunny day today; birds are chirping kids are waddling off to their schools, life is good and its all rainbows and unicorns at my side of the world. BUT! I can’t seem to pull a thought off my mind and it is quite interfering with my propitious state of mind, with which I am not okay at all! You may be wondering what in the world is so disturbing and to answer your question my friend I’ll say “IT’S AGE!!!”Tell me why everything is now a day’s age related!? WHY!? WHY!? WHY!?1

I hear people saying these lines way too frequently now a day “I wonder what it would be like to do a certain thing. Oh well whatever! I can’t do that. I am too old for it what will people say!?” Ahhh! This what will people think of me sentence is so irritating for me. At this point the urge to throw my brains in a blender is way too strong! I stop at this notion and think why, just why? If you are old and curious about certain things why can’t you just go and check it out.2

Listen darling! Let me break it down for you. All of the mankind is different from each other. There is no set path for all of us to walk upon. We all follow different paths. It’s time we start breaking ourselves free of stereotypes and exploring the new stuff. So if you are fifty and want to do something new with your life, I say you go for it and explore your options. If you are ninety and you want to move to Vegas, I say you do it.3

You see it is curiosity that makes you do things. It’s curiosity that helps you explores. It’s curiosity that reveals revelations upon you about yourself. Curiosity is natural. Learning stops at no age and to refuse your right to be curious at any age is wrong. Its stops your learning. And I don’t think so that learning should be age related. Learn whatever you can, wherever you can, whenever you can and from whomever you can. So be curious, dig deep, think out of the box and don’t be scared of acting upon it regardless of your age.4

Happy breaking stereotypes!
Much love
Ayesha Hameed

Links to Photos:
https://www.google.com.pk/search?q=annoyed+clipart&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwijhM6s-MDMAhVH7xQKHTtkDJEQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&tbs=rimg%3ACb42PY8JWUNjIjjyghn0o-xEuWtQma4tmn3TphvhEMtv7sdfHMwrbICMKjGAxa2K_1TUc7Qiv6B_124LrTDrOTeGm6lSoSCfKCGfSj7ES5EXG8OiiF1rtDKhIJa1CZri2afdMRBM55nBb8jvQqEgmmG-EQy2_1uxxH5mB2eV6dq9SoSCV8czCtsgIwqEeV5YFzYh_1BiKhIJMYDFrYr9NRwRJnXpArE1jbAqEgntCK_1oH_1bguhEld1i3MVjhxioSCdMOs5N4abqVEaeq7-cPvlDV&q=annoyed%20clipart&imgrc=4R6raaYleROUQM%3A
https://www.google.com.pk/search?sa=G&hl=en-PK&q=kids+screaming+clipart&tbm=isch&imgil=_X1E99FIlXT8tM%253A%253BcBBosp444h9lhM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.mycity4kids.com%25252Fparenting%25252Fwhere-is-my-cape&source=iu&pf=m&tbs=simg:CAES2QEJRNOJ1nNB5NwazQELEKjU2AQaAggKDAsQsIynCBpiCmAIAxIo4B3DFMQU3x3LFKEKuBS7FLMKxRSgI7AptzipI540iyz0Pfwr8z2IKhowjg_1Y6DWT5vH9_1ODChQ5JpV3qeU5jxYEf_1xEI4PYTgpvvXG5IuNHOUOdIIxzg6VP_1IAMMCxCOrv4IGgoKCAgBEgQQQug9DAsQne3BCRo7CgYKBGhlYWQKBQoDYXJ0CgkKB2NhcnRvb24KCAoGYW5pbWFsChUKE2ZpY3Rpb25hbCBjaGFyYWN0ZXIM&fir=_X1E99FIlXT8tM%253A%252CcBBosp444h9lhM%252C_&usg=__Oky0fCdFSUgHHe30-gRRsCDEtPI%3D&biw=1366&bih=667&ved=0ahUKEwjy3a6l-cDMAhVI6RQKHdgTBk8QyjcIRQ&ei=rzEqV7LKPMjSU9inmPgE#imgrc=_X1E99FIlXT8tM%3A
https://www.google.com.pk/search?sa=G&hl=en-PK&q=simpsons+teacher&tbm=isch&imgil=V2xwf1RZxBq2UM%253A%253BA2EPOH_zMTlDkM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fteachers.wrdsb.ca%25252Fchambek%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&tbs=simg:CAES1QEJLemWGc0W7IkayQELELCMpwgaYQpfCAMSJ_1MIlhGSEfII_1RZGggmaEZoJyBSnPaw1_1yPILKMjpj3oLaQpySyKJxowXVSbq9Mg4gb9hjwNg26HEP6gETDIEYssSowq3l2iieB_19G3ih8XtPGTKEy-1bLYYIAMMCxCOrv4IGgoKCAgBEgQ6aQwWDAsQne3BCRpDCgkKB2NhcnRvb24KBwoFZ2FtZXMKFQoTZmljdGlvbmFsIGNoYXJhY3RlcgoOCgxpbGx1c3RyYXRpb24KBgoEcGxheQw&fir=V2xwf1RZxBq2UM%253A%252CA2EPOH_zMTlDkM%252C_&usg=__HoogM-zxo8gTjZKi1tEhpi6aSqI%3D&biw=1366&bih=667&ved=0ahUKEwiqsKPS-cDMAhXIwBQKHeVGDVcQyjcIOQ&ei=DjIqV6rxCsiBU-WNtbgF#imgrc=V2xwf1RZxBq2UM%3A
https://www.google.com.pk/search?sa=G&hl=en-PK&q=curious+george+binoculars&tbm=isch&imgil=1N_0YS2bzhnCPM%253A%253BSbimtIGnsgPdqM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.amazon.com%25252FCurious-George-Cartoon-Bumper-Sticker%25252Fdp%25252FB00HURZ4AM&source=iu&pf=m&tbs=simg:CAES2AEJgy1QzLGWEBoazAELEKjU2AQaAggIDAsQsIynCBpiCmAIAxIo6AbNBsUSxhK_1FMMU2hLcBt8dsgr9K6YtiyyHLJQ18T3yPfsrpSPwPRowA3qzTvpRzFgxmxB350XLILVIE_1CSrHWM_1YQlU9pfd8wqLKNvMCL5QOPT7ebWh-AnIAMMCxCOrv4IGgoKCAgBEgQQugXQDAsQne3BCRo6CggKBmFuaW1hbAoJCgdjYXJ0b29uCg0KC3Zpc2lvbiBjYXJlCgkKB2V5ZXdlYXIKCQoHZ2xhc3Nlcww&fir=1N_0YS2bzhnCPM%253A%252CSbimtIGnsgPdqM%252C_&usg=__DbgirxjkdjsW5c8RTzO4x0zqoJM%3D&biw=1366&bih=667&ved=0ahUKEwju-o3y-cDMAhVD6RQKHV_mCYcQyjcIRw&ei=UDIqV-6SOcPSU9_Mp7gI#imgrc=1N_0YS2bzhnCPM%3A

Turning Procrastination into Motivation

Perhaps procrastination is a part of the human condition, having an extended period of time to accomplish something makes us delay it for the future, even if we can begin it now. Perhaps it is modern society, which often times seems to focus on immediate and instant results, rather than something carefully crafted and refined over a longer period of time.

Part of the modern business world for most of us also involves constant connectivity. Cell phones, notifications, massages, email etc. are constantly ringing, buzzing and interrupting us with communications. Our friends, parents, co-workers, bosses, managers, etc. all are vying for our attention for trivial tasks.

While these are all part of modern life, and we have learned to function efficiently with them, they can be a hindrance when in the midst of a project which requires complete focus. There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying in touch and being friendly with your peers, co-workers and friends, and giving proper attention to your loved ones – in fact I encourage all of those things. But there is a time and a place, and unfortunately being distracted can sometimes make you lose focus and motivation with the task at hand.

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Ways to minimalize procrastination and maximize motivation:

  • To be the most proficient, successful and happy at whatever it is you do in life, especially if you are doing intellectual work; you need to have a distraction-free environment. This will guarantee your mind is completely focused on the task at hand and you’ll always get the best results.
  • Start projects immediately if you have idle time. Once you actually start something and get into the flow of it, you’d be surprised how easy it is. Don’t think about starting something, act. You can always tweak the project and make changes as you go along. Getting that first start is vital.
  • Remove all distractions from your environment. Anything that will make you lose focus is something that will potentially set you up for procrastination and destroy your motivation.
  • Eat well, sleep well and get exercise. From personal experience, a healthy mind and body is less likely to procrastinate. You’ll feel better, you’ll be more upbeat and active, and more optimistic about accomplishing your goals sooner rather than later. If you’re tired or hungover, you’ll be less productive and more likely to procrastinate a task until the next day.
  • Mix up your projects and assignments so you’re not simply doing the same exact thing every day. If you keep things fresh they will be more interesting and compelling for you to work on, and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate them.
  • Keep your thoughts positive, and recognize when you’re entering a cycle of procrastination. Here is where you will need to address mind over matter. Start by just getting into it and doing step one of whatever your task is and go from there. Sit down and break the project up into consumable parts that are less daunting.

ddd

Picture Links:
http://ryanavery.com/7-ways-stop-procrastinating-starting-tomorrow/

https://twitter.com/hashtag/googleapp

http://www.shutterstock.com/s/make+it+happen/search
vectors.html?page=1&inline=166547960

How Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

A leader is the individual who possesses the rare quality of leadership. Leadership is basically the capacity to guide other people. What makes people trust others? It definitely requires abstract association. Some say leaders are natural willpower athletes. Yes! There is no perplexity in this notion, as willpower drives a person in achieving a particular goal. Same can be attributed to a leader, being a premier personage.

That was the first step in understanding this particular impression. But farfetched is the second part: the trust that masses put into leaders. Why do they people allow leaders to lead? How is such a compelling trust developed? Does being the authority automatically make you a good leader?

Recently I had chance to go through Simon Sinek’s TED Talk Why good leaders make you feel safe

bbbSimon offered a very beautiful explanation by referring to the idea of sacrifice. According to him, sacrifice is the only thing that separates leaders from commoners and because of this sole reason, commoners trust their leaders.

A leader is not egocentric or self-centered. A leader puts his life on the line first. A leader is already a better version of himself and that is why he has nothing to gain for himself. He sacrifices for others.

 

Your Parents are the best example
Have you seen a farmer who works in the field all day long or a Mason who carries all the physical burden on his weak shoulders, just to educate or better the livings of his family? Have you ever looked for the reason behind it? He has not seen the luxury of life himself but why is he suffering so much to make your future better than his past? That’s the essence of leadership. This abstract emotional connection inspires people to follow them.

Reality of Situational Response
Theoretical reasoning clarifies this by taking into account the ‘Context Factor’. According to this idea, at a crucial point, someone with the most experience is more likely to lead others as compared to those who are not exposed to it. Even if we accept this justification, still there’s a need to introduce the variable of ‘Sacrificing’ because, ‘Not everyone who is experienced, shows up’

 

Distinguishing between an Authoritarian and a Leader
Ask yourself a question. Would you feel safe if your job owner forgives for your mistake and guides you? Or if he punishes you or costs you your job? You would definitely go with the first condition, I assume.
This shows the major difference between a leader and a controller. A leader maintains the environment of security. As a leader is to lead, not to lower others down. A leader inspires instead of influencing.

 

High aims, heart charming words, vigorous spirits are the material for leaders
-Iqbal.

 

Personal Profiles:
http://fawadali994.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/fawadali994

Picture Links:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-characteristics-separate-boss-from-leader-franklin-frank-lion-

http://www.andrew-cameron.com/are-you-a-boss-or-leader/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/373165519100744895/

Youth: The Age of Revolution

Freshness, vigor, energy, spirit. These are the words that spring to mind when one talks about youth, and rightly so. The boundaries of youth are very elastic, but to get an idea, from the ages of about 14 to 30, the human mind and body are capable of shaping, forming, reshaping and reforming. This vital characteristic is the reason that youth is considered to be the age where change, or revolution, takes place. The nature of that change is completely up to you but there are factors that influence that change, for example the environment that you are in.

At some point in life you must have heard your parents say things like, “oh son I can’t learn these things now, I am too old!” And at that point you probably criticized them and thought that they were too lazy. But it is a fact that once you are at the upper boundary of youth or have crossed that boundary, your mind cannot learn new things even nearly as efficiently as it once used to. It cannot reform or reshape as it did in its youth. The youth can be considered to be an age where your mind and body are like clay. You undergo many experiences, especially in your university years, and each of these experiences subconsciously contribute to the shaping of your clay. Some contribute less, some more, some even leave permanent prints, but all in all, once you are closing in to the upper boundary of youth, the clay starts to harden up. The different impressions that were left on the clay will now remain there forever.

As I said before, the nature of the changes that shape the clay are influenced by your environment that you are exposed to in your youth. This environment could be one where you are among people doing drugs, people into violence, it can be one where people are continuously studying, one where people are doing outdoor sports, people into indoor activities, or a combination of any of these. Once you have chosen your environment, it is inevitable that your experiences will shape you and they will influence you until your last breath.

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Some of the categories of concern around the world among the youth are people who indulge in drugs, violence, sexual behaviors contributing to diseases and unintentional pregnancies, poor dietary behaviors, and physical inactivity. Each of these behaviors can be a complete waste of youth as they completely destroy the shape of ones clay. As you can imagine, all of these will have a massive impact on one’s life well after the youth years are over.

So in a nutshell, youth is the time for make or break. Take full advantage of the time when your clay is still soft. Indulge in healthy activities not only for the body but also for the mind so that one day when you look back to your youth years, you can be proud to say that those were the years which shaped your magnificent sculpture.

Picture Links:
http://sdsannao.blogspot.com/2016/03/weekly-update_4.html

http://fuelrunning.com/lifestyle/tips-to-quit-smoking

Sharan Valley, The Hidden beauty of Kaaghan Valley

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www.gettyimages.com

Kaghan valley has most popular summer holiday spots. If you love hiking, trekking or camping, then here is the perfect place for you, The Sharan Valley. This Valley is similar to heaven. Unlike other tourist attractions of Kaghan Valley, Sharan is situated on other side of River Kunhar and this is one of the reason people often miss this place to be in.

When you cross the River Kunhar through Paras, you will see the pink bare moun-tain with very few trees. The road will continue to rise to a small town “Bela”. All of the sudden the scene will change into the dense forest with huge pine trees on one side and gigantic mountain on other side of road with the hundreds of butterflying hovering in the air with with quiet hush all around

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kehkishan.com

Gracious! Now, you are absolutely nowhere other than the magnificence and wil-derness of Sharan valley. The place is expanded on 2400 meters with thick pine forests, green glads and shimmering streams, is a wilderness still in flawless state because very few tourist ever visit the place.

Sharan is one of the most beautiful place right in the middle of Manshi forest locat-ed at a stature of 7,872 ft and you can’t avoid experiencing passionate feelings for this spot without a doubt. Campers seeking absolute isolation can better head here. The only population is that of a forest rest-house and a youth hostel.

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www.flickr.com

It is a perfect place for trekking and exploring the nature. You will hear lots of birds chirruping but will rarely see them because they are hidden in trees and usually in more deeper forest making you fall more in love with nature . All you need to bring with you is gather the sack with food and camping equipment and you definitely are returning with the most beautiful sight and place you will leave your heart back.

Wonder why are we sharing so much information about Sharan?

The time to open up the surprise package, this year’s venue for Markhor is Sharan valley. The place is chosen for its wilderness filled site, that will awake the adventurer inside you. Stay tuned for more details.

Written by: Sundus Altaf

Picture Links:
HTTP://WWW.GETTYIMAGES.COM/DETAIL/PHOTO/SHARAN-FOREST-KAGHAN-VALLEY-ROYALTY-FREE-IMAGE/520971453

http://kehkishan.com/kaghan-valley–great-tourist-attractions-due-to-its-lakes-kehkishan–detail-21.html

Sharan, (Manchi Forest) Kaghan Valley

Benefits of venturing into the wild

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“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” – Danny Kaye

Our modern society seems to be extinguishing the childhood desire to explore – participation in outdoor activities has been on the decline in our youth, and often times, when there are scheduled activities, helicopter parents hover over children, killing the spark for wanderlust. A trip to the wild can bring this spark back, igniting the desire to explore and learn more, ultimately expanding the mind and bringing joy to the spirit.

A trip to the wild may always seem to be a challenging experience before taking it on. It may seem to be stupid or exaggerated at some point, it may seem a bit odd and a bit savage, it may seem strange, or even impossible. But just the fact that your venture into the wild will help you overcome all your fears and make you optimistic all of a sudden, is enough to outweigh the challenges. For a trip to wild is full of mysteries, full of unexplored and unattended challenges, and all of these challenges, all of these mysteries are laying there waiting to be discovered, and in doing so a person may discover oneself and eventually overcome the fear, develop commotion in life and give life a new colour, a new tone and a new reason.

There are enough reasons and benefits to venture in the wild which may overcome any fear, any hardship, any challenge or any hurdle. These benefits will prove beneficial till the end of life.

 

  • Help to cope with the challenges of life

By placing yourself in a situation where things may not go as planned, it helps you learn to cope better with the inevitable challenges and uncertainties in life. You plan to survive and you learn the essentials to face the challenges and overcome the fear.

  • Boost of self confidence

One of the natural by-products of adventure travel is a boost in self-confidence. Allowing ourselves to become immersed in unknown territory allows us to immediately recognize an internal shift in our confidence level.

Each experience builds more confidence, by challenging you just a bit more every time. Any time you take a risk or do something new, whether it’s as small as venturing off your usual itinerary, or as big as embarking on an independent expedition, it presents a chance to increase self-confidence.

  • Stay mentally sharp

Any new experience can help keep you mentally sharp and to focus on things that may prove fruitful later on. This sense may come in handy in the daily aspects of life.

  • You broaden your perspective

Nothing changes the way you view your own life experience like seeing the way other people live. Not only will you be more appreciative and thankful for the life you have, you’ll also have a new sense of wonder and empathy for other cultures and countries. Soak in the language, the lifestyle and what people in foreign countries value—you’ll realize its different everywhere in the world and it will undoubtedly make you evaluate your own values.

You value experience over material things

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Once you’re hooked on traveling and understand its true power, you know that looking up at the vastness of Cholistan Desert or seeing the mountains of Korakaram out-values any merchandise you could ever possibly purchase. Instead of buying a luxurious car, you invest in what’s more important to you—seeing places you haven’t been to yet and immersing yourself in new cultures. Travel doesn’t become something you do—it’s a way of life.

As said beautifully:

“Travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer”.

 

  • Teaches toleration

When you go into the wild you may deviate from your plans and face the unexpected challenges. You may find yourselves surrounded by difficulties and uncertainties but this would prove as test of your nerves and you will learn many lessons of life from this.


You’ll experience serendipity and synchronicity

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To venture into the wild is a way to become aware of the magic that weaves all of creation together through serendipity and synchronicity with perfect timing.

Serendipity: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for. Synchronicity: coincidence of events that appear meaningfully related but do not seem to be causally connected.

For the wild is full of mysteries and may come with the lessons of life and certain experiences which may shape your life towards a better path.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

 

Picture Links:
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HTTP://THEMINDUNLEASHED.ORG/2015/11/10-EASY-WAYS-YOU-CAN-PRACTICE-MINDFULNESS-EVERY-DAY.HTML

HTTP://GREENGLOBALTRAVEL.COM/2013/03/04/PICTURES-OF-SUNSETS-AROUND-THE-WORLD/

HTTP://GREENGLOBALTRAVEL.COM/2013/04/18/BENEFITS-OF-ECOTOURISM-20-TOP-TRAVEL-BLOGGERS-NATURE-TRAVEL/

Leadership – Genetic or teachable?

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This is a very common question and over the years it has been answered in a variety of ways. It really depends on whose point of view you think has fully answered the question. I will try my best to ensure that my point of view is sufficient for you.

Instead of beating around the bush, let’s get straight to the point. Is leadership genetic? Yes and no. Well, so much for getting straight to the point. To be honest, this is question cannot be answered by a simple yes or a simple no. The shortest answer I can give is, as I said, yes and no.

Let’s break it down a little. There are many examples of leaders who emerge out their packs naturally and the rest follow them. Alexander the Great serves as one of the best examples. But there have also been leaders who have learned their craft, for example Abraham Lincoln. Mystery still unsolved.

A survey by a research firm showed that the 52.4% of all the people in leadership roles believed that leaders were made, 19.1% thought that leadership is a born trait and the rest of the 28.5% believed that it was a combination of both.

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I believe that the 28.4% of these leaders are right. My way of thinking is that yes, some part of the leadership traits of the leader that you follow has been inherited by him/her, some of it was part of his/her primary socialization (learning that takes place at an early age, normally before schooling starts), and the rest was learned. Through my experience, I would break down the above three categories like this: The best leadership genetics can take a leader as far as 20% in the leadership role, primary socialization, 30% and the actual formal learning, 50%. So all in all, genetics: 20%, Learning: 80%.

To justify my way of thinking, I will list the main qualities that the leader has to have. They need to be intelligent, charismatic, visionaries, strategic and they should be able to express their vision clearly to their followers. Furthermore, if need be, the have to be able to rally their followers for an important cause and probably the most important of all, when the times are difficult, they need to be the person to go to, the biggest source of motivation. They should be the living breathing example of the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”

Now take another look at all of the above listed qualities of a leader. What is there that is not achievable by a normal person? Theoretically, is it possible for anyone to achieve all of the above? Yes, it is definitely possible for absolutely anyone to learn the above mentioned traits. It’s not like a leader has to have blue eyes. It’s not like a leader has to be over 6 feet tall. These are examples of purely genetic traits. Leadership is not like that.

But what about the 20% of leadership that was inherited? All that is, my friends, is a head start. Yes, the person who is born a 20% leader will stick out more than you in a pack if you don’t have that 20%. But if that person becomes a leader and his/her followers start to increase, that person will have to polish his/her leadership skills. Otherwise, there will be a point when that person will see his/her demise as a leader. Let’s suppose you did not have that 20%, but start to work hard to become a leader, you will eventually overtake that person and become a better leader.

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I hope I have convinced at least a small population out there. Because believing that leadership can be learned, is the first step in starting the learning process, and eventually becoming the leader.

Picture Links:
HTTPS://CAMPUSCONNECT.UWP.EDU/ORGANIZATION/STUDENTLEADEROFTHEMONTH/CALENDAR/DETAILS/229503

HTTPS://WWW.LINKEDIN.COM/TOPIC/SHELBY
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HTTP://WWW.OFFICERREPORTS.COM/BLOG/SECURITY-GUARD-CO-INNOVATION/

The Greatest Assets of Northern Pakistan

In the eyes of those who don’t live in this country, Pakistan is a terrifying place and anyone who steps foot on this land is automatically in danger. I don’t fully blame those who have never visited Pakistan because their televisions and the internet tell them a very believable tale. But being a Pakistani, I believe it is our job to promote the good things that this country holds, one of which is the natural scenic beauty of the great North of Pakistan.

Neelum Valley:

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Running for approximately 200 kilometers in the North east of the capital of Azad Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, the Neelum Valley, also known as the blue gem, is one of the main assets of the great north of Pakistan. Making its way through the lesser Himalayas, this asset has magnificent scenic beauty: colossal hills on either side of the noisy river, exuberant green forests, charming streams and a pleasant atmosphere to top it all off.

The valley, which runs parallel to the Kaghan valley, separated by snow-covered mountains, connected to Muzaffarabad via Neelum Road. The two main towns in Neelam Valley are the capital, Athmaqum and Sharda town. One of the most historical places to visit in this valley is the Sharada Peeth, a temple dedicated to the goddess Sharda on the banks of the Neelum River.

Hunza Valley:

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The Hunza Valley, often refered to as heaven on earth, is a grandiose mountainous valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, stretching from Khizerabad, through Nasirabad, Murtazaabad, Attabad to Khunjerab. It consists of numerous high peaks consistently ranging over 6000 meters. These include the Ultar Sar, Rakaposhi, Bojahagur Duanasir, Ghenta Sar, Hunza Peak, Darmyani Peak, and Ladyfinger Peak.

One of the main places to visit in the Hunza Valley is the 12th highest peak in Pakistan, Rakaphosi. It is a part of the Karakorum Mountain range and it 7788 meters high. The meaning of Rakaposhi is “Shining Wall” because it is surrounded by glacier valleys like Bapru and Bagrot.

Another attraction great asset of Pakistan is the Baltit Fort. This is a 700 year old fort which used to be home to the rulers at that time. In 1996 it was changed to a museum and now serves as one of the main tourist attractions sitting at the top of Karimabad.

Concordia:

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A mountaineer’s paradise, this asset of northern Pakistan is the name of the confluence of the Baltoro Glacier and the Godwin-Austen Glacier. It is a camp site approximately 4600 meters high. An array of mountain peaks are gathered at this breathtaking tourist attraction and four the world’s fourteen highest peaks, ranging about 8000 meters, are situated around the Concordia.

These for peaks include K-2 (8611 meters), the second highest mountain in the world, Gasherbrum I (8080 meters), Broad Peak (8051 meters), and Gasherbrum II (8035 meters). Serving as a common basecamp for all of these four peaks, this place is not only made for mountaineers, but also for camping enthusiasts, as it is one of the best camping sites with short treks to each of the base camps of the four mountain peaks.

Shandur Pass:

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This picturesque vast green plateau of Shandur Pass, rising up to 3734 meters, is a 12 hour journey away from Gilgit. This Pass is embedded firmly in the silk of Pakistani history as it carries immense historical importance. It was used as a trading route for centuries to trade goods between China, Gilgit, Afghanistan and Persia.

This mighty asset of Pakistan’s north makes it into this list for many reasons, one of which is the highest Polo field in the world situated on this Pass. The sport of Polo originated at this ground and is still played with its original rules. An annual Polo tournament takes place at this ground between the Gilgitis and the Chitralis. This festival is one which you do not want to miss and it really sets this asset of Pakistan apart from the rest, as it is not all just about the breathtaking mountains are the serene rivers.

Karakorum Highway:

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It can easily be said that scenic beauty of the vast north of Pakistan is contained in the three grand mountain ranges: the Himalayas, the Karakorum and the Pamirs. Connecting all these ranges together and venturing into China is the 8th wonder of the world, the Karakorum Highway.

This 1284 kilometer long twisting and turning highway is the perfect road for the adrenaline junkie. The notion that this road is an engineering miracle is summed up by the fact that 810 Pakistanis and 82 Chinese died trying to force this road through extremely unstable terrain.

When the Indian subcontinent drifted northwards and collided with Asia, the Himalayas and Karakorums started to take shape at the boundary joining the two land masses. As a result there were massive earth quakes at this junction and these earthquakes continue even today as the Indian subcontinent continues to move north. The Karakorum Highway runs through the middle of this boundary and therefore it is estimated that at certain points, there are earthquakes every 5 or so minutes. That to an adventure lover is like high octane fuel to an engine.

Picture Links:
Sharada Peeth, Sharada, Neelum District, Kashmir, Pakistan
HTTP://WIKITRAVEL.ORG/EN/GILGIT
HTTPS://WWW.PINTEREST.COM/PIN/532269249684061120/
HTTPS://WWW.PINTEREST.COM/PIN/234257618086994596/
HTTP://NATURE-PAKISTAN.BLOGSPOT.COM/2013/09/KARAKURAM-HIGHWAYS-KKH.HTML

Six Most Beautiful Places of Pakistan

The image of Pakistan portrayed to the whole world through the hands of the media is one that no resident of this country can be proud of. But apparently, God did not take this image into account when granting this country with more than its fair share of natural beauty. This article contains only six of the many eye capturing and breathtaking places that Pakistan is proud to show off.

Ziarat

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Pakistan has a number of stunning valleys, enchanting the tourists with awe, but the importance of the valley of Ziarat lies in the Junipers forests. Peaking just above 8200 feet above sea level, this ancient valley is situated around one hundred and twenty two kilometers north of Quetta. The specialty of this valley is the fact that it contains the second largest Junipers forest in the world. Some of the trees in this forest were sowed as long as 5000 years ago.

The city of Ziarat is also famous because Muhammad Ali Jinnah resided in a residency in Ziarat in his last days. This residency was built in 1882 by the British and was used by the British governor generals up till independence in 1947.

Swat Valley

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The scintillating river Swat, runs from the Ushu range of mountains to the spread of the Swat valley, also known as the Switzerland of Pakistan. What sets this valley apart from the rest is its brilliant lush green color. The main town that is closest to this valley is Mingora but it is more famous for being located in the middle of the Hindukush mountain range.

This valley is the ideal place to go for archeologists, hikers and leisure lovers. Kalam, upper Swat, contains beautiful hills with mood lifting weather and it is a dream for those who like to take evening walks.

Lake Saif ul Muluk

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Lake Saif ul Muluk is a world renowned lake in the great north of Pakistan and it has a place in the top five tourist spots of Pakistan according to the Guardian. A bumpy and adventurous 45 minute Jeep ride up from the Kaghan valley, in the north east of the Mansehra district of KPK will take you to one of the most talked about spots in all of Pakistan. Once you get out of your jeep, you will automatically draw in a deep breath of fresh air when you see this tremendous lake sitting between tall snow-capped peaks. The luminous blue sky covering this gift of God is the icing on the cake.

Your tour of Pakistan would be incomplete without sitting on the edge of the lake, letting your eyes wander around the mountainous cover, and maybe even paying one of the baba jees a hundred rupees to tell you the mystical tales about the origins of the great lake.

Hunza Valley

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The Hunza Valley, often refered to as heaven on earth, is a grandiose mountainous valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, stretching from Khizerabad, through Nasirabad, Murtazaabad, Attabad to Khunjerab. It consists of numerous high peaks consistently ranging over 6000 meters. These include the Ultar Sar, Rakaposhi, Bojahagur Duanasir, Ghenta Sar, Hunza Peak, Darmyani Peak, and Ladyfinger Peak.

One of the main places to visit in the Hunza Valley is the 12th highest peak in Pakistan, Rakaphosi. It is a part of the Karakorum Mountain range and it 7788 meters high. The meaning of Rakaposhi is “Shining Wall” because it is surrounded by glacier valleys like Bapru and Bagrot.

Neelum Valley

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This valley, also known as the Blue Gem of Pakistan is the definition of serenity. It is located in  the north east of Muzaffarabad where it stretches for nearly two hundred kilometers. Cutting through the mighty Himalayas, this sparkling body of water shows off its grand scenic beauty, surrounded by colossal hills, exuberant green forests, charming streams and a pleasant atmosphere to top it all off.

This valley is connected to the city of Muzaffarabad via Neelum Road and it is separated from the Kaghan valley by breathtaking snow covered mountains. Apart from dipping your feet in this magical valley, you can also visit the Sharada Peeth, a temple on the banks of the Neelum dedicated to the goddess Sharda.

 Fairy Meadows Nanga Parbat

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Fairy Meadows is the charming and glittery welcome to the jaw-dropping mountain range known as Nanga Parbat. The mountains sit in the background of this colorful destination, making it one of the most picturesque places for tourists to visit.

North from the Meadows lies the Raikot glacier, replete with dark, dangerous crevasses, hit by frequent avalanches and covered by fifteen meters of ice spears. The Nanga Parbat mountains present a mighty challenge to those who wish to climb them and it is known that one in every five people who go up these mountains never descend them. Reinhold Messner, the first mountaineer to ascend the world’s largest fourteen peaks had to be nurtured back to life after he lost seven of his toes and his brother during his confrontation with Nanga Parbat.

 

 

 

 

Picture Links:
HTTP://WWW.HUNZAADVENTURETOURS.COM.PK/QUETTA_TOUR.HTML

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Six Most Dangerous Places of the World

Many of you out there are keen travelers and have your respective bucket lists ready for those upcoming holidays. But a very wise man once said that the world out there is not all sunshine and rainbows. So when you pack your bags and start your world tour, just watch out for these places if your life is dear to you.

Guatemala1

This, among a number of other countries in Central America get hit by a series of natural disasters including hurricanes, mudslides, and earthquakes. In 1976, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake killed more than twenty three thousand people in Guatemala alone. And again in 2005, the remnants of hurricane Stan caused over nine-hundred mudslides in the area, swallowing entire villages and everyone who lived there, erasing them from the face of the earth.

Mogadishu, Somalia

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This city has had endless problems with militants, particularly the Al Shabaab, who at one point controlled most of the city. For a number of years the United States wouldn’t even consider entering into relations with the whole country, but it’s only recently that advisors were sent in the city of Mogadishu to assist the locals in rebelling against the militants. Travel to these regions is still risky though.

Istanbul, Turkey

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A disaster waiting to happen. Twelve million residents living in Istanbul, live at the North Anatolian Fault, also known as earthquake central. In 1999 a 7.6 magnitude earthquake decimated the city of Esmod, with the estimated death toll exceeding forty thousand. In a 2010 study, Nature Geosciences discovered that the tensions along the Fault are building with a magnitude 7 or above earthquake expected in the next twenty five years exceeding a thirty to sixty percent chance of happening.

Chihuahua, Mexico

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This city is one of the most notorious for drug related crimes, especially when it comes to cocaine smuggling in the United States. Drug Cartels of the area are under the thumb with fire fights common in the streets and violence everywhere. The crime got so bad that Law Enforcement actually had to enact operation Chihuahua to conduct anti-drug operations which, if the reports are to be believed, has seen a positive reduction in crime.

Java and Sumatra, Indonesia

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Natural disasters are incredibly common here, including floods droughts, earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes and Tsunami. One particular Tsunami in 2004 killed over two hundred and twenty seven thousand people, following a magnitude 9.1 earthquake which caused an enormous wave to hit the shore. For the last one hundred years there have been droughts, volcano eruptions and earthquakes galore. A risky place if you decide to live there.

San Pedro Sula, Honduras

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This city is simply known everywhere as the murder capital of the world. This is one of the most violent  cities on earth. The homicide rate exceeds a hundred and sixty seven people per one hundred thousand with arms trafficking and illegal firearms everywhere. Some blame the deportation of Los Angeles gangs from the 1990’s, including Malvasa Trusha, and the 18th street gang as the major cause of this violence.

You might be having second thoughts about fulfilling your wanderlust, but don’t worry, just take the advice of someone experienced before going out on such explorations by your own.

Picture links:
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Markhor’15, sponsored by Toyota Indus Motors

Markhor, a life changing experience for every individual who was a part of it. Markhor is not something you learn by attending sessions, seminars or table talks. First day of Markhor, you are a complete stranger for everyone, the last day, you have tears in your eyes, saying good bye to the people who are now your best friends. This is Markhor teaching you lessons for life, giving you something, that you’ll happily spread into your community.

indus motor fb

Toyota Indus Motors was an official sponsor of Youth Impact for Markhor’15. The Indus Motors company (IMC) started as a joint venture between two corporate companies from Pakistan and Japan in 1989. Toyota manufactures commercially, vehicles in Pakistan with a wide range of models and designs for every car. The vehicles include SUVs and sedans that make up a high percentage of the country’s traffic.

The production facilities located near Karachi employ state of the art technologies for the production of Toyota as well Daihatsu vehicles, the only site in the world. Toyota guarantees the highest level of productivity by putting into action the world-renowned Toyota production systems which is based upon the principles of quality control and safety.

The products of the company are rated highly reliable by its consumers for domestic use and each year newer models ensure that the latest technologies and machineries. Better designs and capabilities have also made Toyota Corolla the largest selling automotive brand in Pakistan.

Toyota also has maintained its respectable status by providing after sales services to customers and upheld healthy relations with the consumers which also part of the company’s mission statement.

Being one of the biggest corporate companies in the country, Toyota has allowed itself to prove beneficial for the country’s economy whilst providing occasional sponsorships and task force where needed. It has also provided services in fields that require “Concern beyond Cars”. Welfare projects in education, healthcare and charity has made the company a well reputed organisation.

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Youth Impact is thankful to Toyota Indus Motors on behalf of Markhor and its delegates. We wish you a really prosperous future ahead and we really hope to see you again in our upcoming events.

Indus motor

Find more details about the Toyota Indus Motors at: http://www.toyota-indus.com/

Written by: Arsal Rana

Jubilee Life Insurance joins hands with Youth Impact for Markhor’15


Sunburnt in the day. Shivering in the night. This is what Markhor is. A journey. A lesson. A story of millions. A mere hundred representing millions. Some remarkable individuals giving lessons worth millions. A mind-set made, in the end, which can influence millions.
Jubilee Life Insurance was an official sponsor of the MARKHOR’15 youth conference. The services proved to be vital for the young delegates from all around Pakistan and it can be considered as one of the most treasured investments the company could offer. Jubilee Life was the organisation that could make this once-in-a-lifetime experience worth everything. An important venture that was able to change the minds and lives of those young people attending the conference.

BeFunky Collage

Jubilee Life is a life insurance company providing its remarkable services to families and individuals in Pakistan. The company is considered one of the largest and most reliable companies that provide reasonable life insurance services to concerned families for over 15 years. It is one of the biggest private sector life insurance companies in Pakistan. Jubilee Life Insurance is a subsidiary of The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development which provides a valuable insight to the company’s strength and vision.
Jubilee life is associated with several companies that include several banking corporations as well. The company’s mission statement reads:
To provide solutions that protect the future of our customers
A huge capital was invested when this company was made and it is now the fastest growing insurance company in Pakistan.
Jubilee Life provides safe and trustworthy policies for all kinds of people and belonging to all classes of families. The company also associates with other corporations and successfully wins the hearts of its customers while gaining valuable investor relations.

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Youth Impact is thankful to Jubilee life insurance on behalf of Markhor and its delegates. We wish you a really prosperous future ahead and we really hope to see you again in our upcoming events.

“Life isn’t difficult; we have just made our life really complicated”

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It was 2014, when I heard a word “Markhor” for the very first time when I was listed an Ambassador for. This word always was fascinating whenever I heard or took but just for the time being, I was unaware of the fact this would be the best experience of my life am going to remember for rest of my life. After staying somewhere between in “Yes, I am going” and “No, am not going” finally it was exciting to be off on a journey I was really looking forward.

This was just an outing I was heading to in the morning without knowing something different is going to be happen, something so exciting and new that I will carry with me for long. Some moments are the best, some are nicer, and some are even worth writing about. I am short of words here to elaborate my experience which I will sum up in a word it was “Life-Changing” which ended up a success.

Oh! What a diversity of Places, the cultures, the Families, the People, and the Institutes around where I got a nice bunch as my tribe known as “KUNHAR” I will call a Well-Pack. We didn’t had any blood relation, we didn’t knew each other nor we had any terms before but what I have with them now and what we are to each other is worth keeping as a treasure for my whole life . These people are the best I have met in my life so far.
From hiking to lighting the fire on the peak, from crying on cutting onions to crying on our lives we wasted, from the leg pulling to caring and sharing stuff with each other, from the laughing fits to getting serious on “Goliyaan chal jani hein”, thank you so much for bear with me all the way for being bossy throughout and my favorite eating-time-discussion topic. You people are just amazing, I love each one of you for all the respect and care.

Though we stayed far behind the other tribes in one way or the other but I really don’t have any regret for not getting a label of winning tribe. It was the life we won at the end by knowing the actual purpose of, what we can and what thoughts we have to choose that gives us the emotions of being alive and excited about life. I never took my life as serious as am getting it now. Life is far too valuable to waste in regrets of the past and for planning to grab many titles in the future so why not we find more purposes and then joy in today living it to the fullest by choosing to give a chase to BETTER rather than MORE.

Life isn’t that difficult; we have just made our life really complicated by depending on the things around. We are all materialistic in some way or other, where we don’t need much to live. The things aren’t basics to live, it’s are the purposes to live for. We can stay without technology, we can stay out of our comfort zones, we can stay alive by eating two times a day just to fulfill the damn hunger rather than a huge fine meal but we can’t stay without relationships…it’s all the behavior, actions and your triumphs at the end you will be known and remember for.

Sundus Altaf

Delegate Markhor’15

“Markhor! A word which shall stay with me till eternity!”

12141769_1149918588356209_173108508026400933_nMarkhor! A word which I only knew because of the head of that animal hanging at a wall in my house.

Markhor! A word which changed my life!

Perplexed and melancholic were the words I used to define myself before 1st October 2015. Life was giving me lemons from all aspects possible and I wasn’t sure what good to make out of it. Losing all hopes I sat in my room until a light blinked on my laptop’s screen.

It started from a simple Facebook event invite and led me to the journey of a lifetime!

I, being a typical Pakistani, had doubts about the tribe/crowd I was about to join. To be honest it seemed scary to mix with people from other cultures yet alone of other gender. But the moment I met those people, they became “my people”.

Oh that cultural night (haha), one of the best nights of my life! Different ethnic groups celebrating their cultures made me realize how truly beautiful my Pakistan is. The mesmerizing Attan, the many-fold Bugti Shalwar, that typical Karachi accent and the beautiful silsila of Gilgit, everything reflected the radiance of my motherland.

From hiking for 3 hours’ straight to lighting a camp fire and cooking our own food with meager rations, this whole experience forced me to channelize my inner potential.

Those 4 days taught me such amazing lessons which my 22 years of life couldn’t!

Team work, breaking your barriers, eradicating your ego, being the first drop of rain and unleashing the fire energy within you are few of the many things which left a deep impression on my mind.

The serene Mukshpuri peak and that enchanting starry sky will always refresh my mind.

I could write a whole book on this thought provoking and soul relinquishing expedition but to conclude I would thank the team Youth Impact with all my heart for helping me pave my path in a positive direction.

Now, Optimistic, gleeful and a fighter are the words which define me and they always will. Markhor! A word which shall stay with me till eternity!

Maryam Bukhari

Delegate Markhor’15

“I had conquered my fear of hiding in the shadows and the fear of living the life itself”

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“Some say don’t go searching the worlds unknown to you. I say that is what you must do. 1st oct 2015 was a day when I stepped into something that was completely unknown. I knew no one and had never been into the wild before and so it was the first dare for me. Coming out of the 4 day event I had conquered my fear of hiding in the shadows and the fear of living the life itself. But the most important thing was I met a hundred and twenty stories a hundred and twenty people carried. 120 different aspects of the life I wasn’t living. I made friends with some great people in the shape of many including Alina Takreem, Asim Saeed, Khawar Shah, Taskeen Mansoor, Mahnoor Shahbaz Khan, Moheed Ullah and the rest. I gained sisters after a wait of 19 long years of my life including Sundus Altaf, Mahrukh Mahmood. What begin as a trek into the wild ended up being nature’s way of telling me that I am not alone waging this war against the protocols and saving humanity from humans themselves.
The wild gave me an answer that I had been looking for or I should say THE ANSWER that I looked for.
You can’t be someone who changes the world if you do not become the change itself. Aakif Azeem was a lost cause as he desperately searched for a place to hide to question himself back to life. Miss Mahrukh and Abdul Samad Bhai Provided my Thirst the channel to look for the waters I searched for. Thinking about life when being on top of a mountain made me realize one thing. That mountain reached that height by persevering harsh conditions. sometimes it was snow and cold while sometimes it was it’s loneliness. But the mountain stood there with determination but this wasn’t the lesson I learnt. The lesson was that even after reaching that height The mountain wanted to be conquered! He knew That One day someone would climb his way on the top and claim it’s glory.
“You never stand on top. You make your mark in the world and disappear, leading back to what I learnt Lead Without Title” ‪#‎ThankyouMarkhor‬ ‪#‎family‬‪#‎Leaders‬

Aakif Azeem

Delegate Markhor’15

My Markhor Experience (Part 1) – Through eyes of an OC Member! (No Spoilers)

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“Markhor! For the past 3 years I was always curious that what actually this Markhor conference was? This year my curiosity got to me and my fate finally allowed me to attend this first wilderness based leadership conference called Markhor. Me being an Alumni of Chasing Snow Leopard, one of the other Youth Impact’s programs, got the chance to be in the organizing committee or as you might say OC of HBL Markhor’15, I was heading the registrations team for Markhor’15 so I had the in depth insight of what this marvelous project was and what was the broader scope and the purpose behind it. I won’t be explaining what my job description was or what was the purpose of this massive movement? beacuse that would be so boring that Alina (Our publications’ Head) might kill me! So on to the good part!

Our journey started at Ibex Club Islamabad where I first met my tribe mates, introductions and other formalities where done, first impressions where made for the better or worst that would be revealed in the next four days to come. That’s not all I was also looking forward to meet a few people specially some of the OC members who have been in touch with me for the past 3, 4 months via emails and phone calls. We started our travelling in a coaster with members of another tribe. At first there were some reservations people didn’t know how to get off with the things so we all agreed to do the introductions again with adding something interesting about ourselves. That was a really good ice breaking session and everybody started feeling at ease and then things started getting interesting, the nonstop singing and poetry and what not, till the time we reached Mushkpuri Hotel everybody was exhausted. After reaching there we had our lunch; last of the civilized lunch that we had in the following two days.

As I have mentioned time and again I was an OC members; I know this is really awkward mentioning it again and again but bear it with me, so I had heard some spoilers here and there but still after all that I was always surprised at all the new challenges they threw at us and by “they” I mean Training and Development Team’s people :’) I won’t be revealing any of the tasks or activates we had to endure because I don’t want to spoil the fun and the excitement of the next year’s new Markhors. You have to live it to believe it.

What I would like to say about my experience? One word “Amazing”, everything there amazed me rather it be the awesome people from all over Pakistan, various cultures, speaking dozen of languages all together at one place, sharing their lives their experiences their stories, Youth of Pakistan for Pakistan. Or the amazing speakers from various fields of life and profession altogether at the top of one of the most beautiful places of Pakistan sharing their experiences, stories and expertise, words can’t do justice to this epic phenomenon. Last but not the least the amazing people of your tribe, this tribe is your family for the four days you spend at Markhor. You eat together you sleep together, you cry together, you laugh together, you scream you slogan at the top of your voice together, going through tough situations together like a team brings you all together like you could have never imagined. I have made friends, brothers, sisters and mentors for life in this little time. These four days have been some of the best days of my life, these memories have been tattooed on my mind and I will keep on cherishing these awesome moments for ever. Thank you Youth Impact, Mahrukh and Sir Samad for this opportunity, I’m really grateful to all of you.”

Tanzeel Anjum

Aka Taz (CSL name)

Aka Tanzeela Baji (Tribe name)

Delegate Markhor’15

“I realized that Markhor was way more than what we had imagined”

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“As I pondered, I found out that there were not too many limitations if I did it my way, if everyone did it their way and make it “our way” together, whenever there is enthusiasm, there is a creative joint empowerment that a mere person is not capable of so, people say one couldn’t understand the true purpose of life but I would say that people are unaware of “MARKHOR”. Like others I used to think that MARKHOR was nothing but a national animal of Pakistan or to say so, just a wilderness based leadership conference, but on 1st of October I realized that Markhor was way more than what we had imagined. On My very first day I was introduced to a group of people from 12 different cities with 12 new faces and 12 different mind setups and to my surprise, in no time I found a family in all those faces. I went through the survival night, and it would never have been possible for me to cook a dish named “MASALA MOTATO “alone. My tribe made it possible. When I was named leader of the group I realized that life was just not about winning or making your team win just like that, but it was actually meant to show you how well you could perform and how well you could deal with the problems and difficulties you faced. When it comes to a team I learnt that nothing is impossible if you are working as a one single unit. My days were full of planning and my nights were full of cherishing pleasures. The thing that I am missing now is the way I interacted with such an intelligent bunch of people. Markhor made me realize that life is short but if you add some value to it then this short life would be everlasting and would always be praised by others when you are no more there to prove it again. It was Markhor which made me realize that holding hands and infusing a sense of prosperity is the 1st step forward to the success.
While travelling in 2035 to 2045 I lost my envelope and someone told me a fact that was a life changing moment for me and that was “Sometimes you have to start from the scratch in life so don’t you worry and continue because time never waits for someone”.
My experience at Markhor was Marvelous and still can’t find words to express what I learnt or what I feel about being a participant of it. A person’s life is just like a novel, difficult to start reading and exploring but when started the interest develops itself, that’s what MARKHOR is all about.
I will always remember each and every moment of my life spent at MARKHOR 2015.”

Asim Saeed,
Delegate Markhor’15

“I have learned, to SEE the change; we need to BE the change”

edsMarkhor has been a ‘total’ experience. When I first signed up for it, I was quite unsure as to what it might all be about (mostly because of the clandestine adventure theme and to be honest MASHA ALLAH all the team takes their secret ‘secrecy oaths’ quite seriously :P’. Well, I did came in with a dubious Mind and an Open heart emoticon and form there starts the roller coaster ride. The Hike, the self-made Food, the Fire, the bonfire Stories, the Night in Sleeping bags (with the feeling that the camp’s gonna fly off with the winds anytime now :P), the Early Morning Wake-up calls, the only one fill of Tea, the Sharing, the new Revelations with new Games, the gradual habituation of having each other’s back, the Ice-cream formula, the Zid Technology, the decade leaps in Soul Walk, the awe-inspiring key-note sessions, the amazing Team & Flawless Management, all made Markhor’15 an experience worth having.

The ‘nature is your class room’ notion seems half-baked and overly dramatic in our daily monotonous life routines, but Man! That connecting with the nature Idea really Works!

I have learned that a Leader is not a person in a group who goes forward and takes credit for a team effort, but knows when to hold back and helps nourish an environment where everyone gets equal opportunities to best utilize their energy, expertise & skills.

I have learned that spending time with yourself & contemplating is as important as spending time with friends & family and partying. You sit down, relax and have a conversation with yourself as to what you wanted yourself to be and Who are you now? Helps one to prioritize and have a clearer perspective of things. A conversation we otherwise just procrastinate!

I have learned, to SEE the change; we need to BE the change! People are visual learners. We need to ‘show’ them what a powerful youth can do to contribute to a welfare society.

I have conjectured, that may be revolution isn’t a riot, or mutiny, or a colossal change in the masses, maybe all the revolution our society needs, is the Harmony, Discipline & Fire in ME..!!

 

Zureesha Sajid

Delegate Markhor’15

 

“I Have never been this clear about my motives and goals in my life!”

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“Markhor ’15 was a life altering event that has left me spell-bound from the past week! This event was one of it’s kind. Love at first sight was indeed a myth before this. Before the starting of this event I had this dilemma whether to attend this event or just let it go because it was a vague concept, but a friend of mine convinced me that no matter what happens you should attend this event as it will affect you in many different ways! Now after those four beautiful enigmatic days I’m sitting right here wandering in the beautiful mountains of Mukshpuri. To be honest I was of this view that I should not attend this event because it was simply a wastage of money and it won’t buy me anything but truly it has changed me in many different ways. I Have never been this clear about my motives and goals in my life! Now I have started questioning myself that am I fit for Pakistan. So it all began when I reached the event on 1st October and met the best people there. They came all over from Pakistan from over 100 institutions! This was the first event of this scale and these four days did nothing but made our bonds stronger. We all lived as a family where there were no cultural, regional or caste discrimination but we all were Pakistanis . I was never this confident but that event taught me many things that no matter what happens you should never let go of yourself, and always believe in your-self! There were so many hidden qualities in me . From the very first day from preparing food to the last day where we had to take a walk and summarize our lives it discovered many things I was capable of. It would not be fair if I wont mention my awesome tribe mates here. We passed all the hurdles together. We watched each others backs and learned many things! We fought , we cried , we laughed and made a family that we’ll never ever forget! I think this event was simply like a fairy tale and we cannot describe this event merely by writing paragraphs!

ANKH JO KUCH DEKHTI HAE LABB PE AA SAKTA NAHI”

Umer Ehtisham

Delegate Markhor’15

“I will bring some positive change in my society!”

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A symbol of pride, for everyone who witnessed the charms and learning’s of this very event! An event where you are supposed to forget about “I” and think as “we”, where you’re taught the essentials of team work practically, where you explore yourself, your efficiencies, you deficiencies. An event where the outcome or end results of a particular task aren’t important but the path being chosen. An event where you witness such a huge diversity among people, where you witness the diversity of cultures still being in harmony and peace, still being very kind and helpful to one another despite of the cast or the place from where you or the other person belongs! And that is how you define a tribe, forgetting about yourself and thinking about your people. The tribe names which reflect the positive and the best side of our country.. I’m proud to be a graduate of markhor. The journey didn’t end with oath taking ceremony rather I believe it started when we spoke The last word. Whatever, from now on , I will bring some positive change in my society, the ultimate credit goes to you people. Thankyou markhor’15. Thankyou makhor team! Pakistan zindabaad.

Hamza Muzaffar

Delegate Markhor’15

“I learnt that every stimulus is a challenge that builds you”,

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“I was extremely happy when I snagged a place in markhor. As I reflect on my 4 days at Markhor. I’m naturally led to appreciate what my tribe has done for me, I know they don’t care for such exposure, but I must express my gratitude the way they deserve.
(From carrying my bag, all the way to the top, to serving us break fast and the massive respect y’all gave me)
Even as markhor dissolves into the past. I’m confident that we’ll keep in touch. We’ve survived thro’ thick and think, is a testament of how strong our bond is. You’re the best and undoubtedly the highlight of my time there.
Life has its ups and downs. Some are just worse than others. I guess it’s how we deal with every moment that counts. In some cases, it involves reasoning with people who view a certain topic in a senseless manner just for the sake of asserting their dominance without basing their arguments on a sound rationale. Ergo, some fully rely on the use of ‘assumptions’ as a convincing tactic to stand out from the pack when trying to prove a point as an absolute asseveration, regardless of its credibility.
During our group discussions on the topics provided by mentors, A mere assumption that was based on an uncalculated intuition. An intuition which led to an invalid conclusion. A conclusion which led to an error in judgment. A judgment which led to a total disaster.
One of the most noteworthy is to have the courage to stand up and say: ‘I’m afraid I don’t know the answer because I haven’t thoroughly went through the proper way and the right sources to answer it’. Or, something along the lines of ‘My opinion resonates no more than a mere assumption and does not in any way project a factual statement’.
I learnt that every stimulus is a challenge that builds you, and overcoming that challenge is what makes them meaningful.
I loved how they focused on giving. Conventional notions of what it means to give are populated with expectations for reciprocity, that makes the deed lose it’s value. Give with all your heart, with pure intention, not for the sake of attention.
I loved how they shifted the focus from external to internal in women power lectures .
Peace comes from struggling against the desires.
Keep your chin up. And remember, you deserve the best.”

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Maryam Javed
Delegate (Markhor’15)

Raising the Markhor nation

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“Markhor was just an idea for a team of 8 enthusiasts till the sunset of June 26, 2013, when they left the meeting room of Headstart School, Islamabad with a faith that something greater is on their way. Since then the game has been changed. The spark ignited by just few souls has impacted thousands of lives, just in a short time period of two years. Markhor – which was named after Pakistan’s national animal – has been regarded as a vigorous beginning of a social movement amongst the youth of Pakistan. What makes Markhor, the Markhor?

The literal meaning of the name Markhor is snake eater, though we are not sure if this wonderful creature eats or kills snakes to survive. But one thing is certain that it goes through an unbelievably challenging life cycle for its existence. Markhor being an endangered species lives at high altitudes, where the rocky terrain, steep climbs, shortage of food and chase by hunters are some of the factors adding to the worries of this graceful animal. Resilience, patience and adaptability are developed as innate qualities as an outcome of this challenging life style.

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Markhor being the national animal of Pakistan is a symbol of pride and nobility. The challenges it faces in the life and in result, the qualities it develops has been used as a metaphor for naming Pakistan’s first wilderness based youth leadership conference. We have conceived that Pakistani youth, facing an un-ending wave of uncertainty, change and urge to survive have developed a Markhor spirit within themselves. The spirit which demands them to be agile, high in energy, self-motivated, extremely adaptable, tolerant, committed and daring to confront the challenges like a Markhor.

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Markhor is not yet another youth conference, where the youth meets, gets motivated, has fun and returns with mere good memories. From the day one, we were clear about Markhor being a platform that sets the foundation for a long term, sustainable social change in the country through youth engagement and development. Incorporating our decade long wilderness based corporate leadership and international youth leadership development experiences, our team at Youth Impact has decided to offer a unique and first of its kind learning platform for Pakistani youth. It’s distinctive wilderness based methodology, fascinating themes, serene locations, and a wide range of seasoned mentors and speakers has enabled Markhor to attract youth from all corners of the country. Out of many best experiences declared by the past delegates, diversity has been rated as one of the unique features of Markhor conference. One can meet youth from all geographical regions, representing all ethnic groups, with very diverse group mix representing gender, religious and socio-economic segments of the society. Awais Ali, one of the past delegates from Gilgit expresses his satisfaction as, “the best thing which Markhor taught individuals was ‘integration in diversity’. A concept of Pakistan hotel was presented having six contents in menu; Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, KPK, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh.

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The delegates are short listed through an intense process where thousands of young applicants with high hopes to be selected, try to prove their keenness to be part of this life time experience. Only few can make it till the end. Those who are best of the best are taken to the next level, where through an intense four days long social leadership development experience, they leave the conference with a clear road map for their own life as well as their role in the national development. Taking an oath to give back to the society about what they have gained and learnt in those 84 life changing hours, they return homes with a greater responsibility on their shoulders.

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Markhor is not just an eye opening experience. Yes, they do learn from each other, get connected with the nature, get inspiration from the mentors, and at the end, develop their own agenda for social impact. And the most profound experience is about being part of a year-long leadership development program on returning from Markhor. This program, called G77, is one of the most unique features of the post-conference activities, where each individual has to dedicate a greater deal of time and effort to meet the challenging goals of this program. The program takes them through intense modules covering reading and writing assignments, community projects, fund raisers, life-skills trainings, coaching and mentoring and volunteering. Once qualified in all modules, the participants are declared as ‘Certified Young Leaders’. These young souls are the future face of Pakistan, where Youth Impact believes that developing 10,000 such dedicated, responsible, self-motivated and ethical youth social leaders by year 2025 can transform the destiny of our beloved nation. Markhor is the agenda for a social change, it is not just a conference, rather a vision to raise the nation with Markhor spirit.”

Abdul Samad Khan,

September 1, 2015

Faiq Sadiq’s Ice Cream Story

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I think no Markhor would be complete without Faiq Sadiq’s infamous ice cream story. A story that inspires Markhors from all over Pakistan to shun mediocrity and go for their goals in life no matter how many times they have to fail in order to succeed.

When I first arrived at the top of Markhor13 and came to know about a certain senior-level banker that was listed as one of the key-note speakers, I thought surely that one would be one to forget as I have generally found them to be boring and too calculating.

Enter Faiq Sadiq at the second day of Markhor and BAM! Just like that he swept us off his feet with his characteristic danda wielding while emphasizing on his points. He began by telling us that Allah has made us the most powerful livings things ever created and there was absolutely nothing we can’t achieve in our lives. What you need is a spark of motivation and he began telling his own story in the chilly evening of Mukshpuri.

He said that once when he was a child, there was a swimming gala held in the local pool and there were supposed to be some children’s races too. When he found out that the prize was going to be his favorite ice cream, there was no doubt left in his mind that he needed to win it come what may. But there was a slight problem, he didn’t know a, b, c of swimming at all. Everybody tried to warn him about the water and drowning but he didn’t care. His mind was fixed on his prize.

When the race started, it went as expected. He couldn’t swim a yard and began drowning at the starting point. The lifeguard pulled him out, but he told him off and said he be put back in the water. People were worried that he had gone insane (which he is a little bit!) and tried to intervene, but he had only the ice cream in his mind. He was given another try and then another try and then another one. Finally, despite knowing no swimming at all. He half waded, half drowned to the finishing line and he was given his ice cream and he was satisfied. He had achieved what he wanted despite not knowing how but with the sheer force of his will.

That’s what we all learned from him and we hope you all will too at this year’s Markhor. You must be prepared to meet your dream heedless of obstacles!

Written by: Talha  Dar

Slackline: Improve your balance

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Slacklining is a form of rope walking which differs from others by the fact that the rope that is tied between points is not tense neither is it tight. It is loose and has a certain degree of stretch and bounce like a trampoline. For the observer, slacklining is a breathtaking activity and for the liner it is pure accomplishment.

This activity has become popular recently due to its simplicity and versatility. More and more people are now slacklining and showing their expertise and all kinds of breathtaking tricks.

Slacklining correctly requires a lot a practice and man hours. They key is patience and only with patience can a person learn balance. Balancing on a thin strip of woven threads is quite challenging which is why people dare to do it. Slacklining above water can be fun and safe.

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www.slackline-tools.com

Another reason for the popularity of slacklining is the fact that a person can practice almost anywhere. All they need is rope and two points to suspend it. For beginners, the height is kept low until they learn to balance correctly and maintain it when the rope sways under their feet.

It is not uncommon for people to slackline hundreds of feet above ground level between cliffs or mountains. It do takes a lot of courage and determination to walk over the mouth of death. Although many people use some safety but not all people agree to that. The following is a still from the International Slackline Festival.

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Nowadays people perform all kinds of tricks and jumps while slacklining. Expert slackliners can perform some breathtaking flips and twists while on a rope. The limits are pushed as far as their capabilities can take them. Known as tricklining, it is often done on low lines but can also be performed at higher levels.

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www.slackline-tools.com

Another type of slacklining involves people doing it in urban areas between city towers. It is often called urbanlining. People in cities enjoy being entertained in dangerous ways.

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Written by: Arsal Rana

Paintball: Fun with the colors

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Paintball is a sport in which players compete, individually or in teams, to eliminate the opposition by hitting them with capsules containing water-soluble dye and an outer shell. A paintball gun is loaded with these capsules that is specifically designed for the purpose. They players compete inside a field that may contain natural or artificial obstacles. Team fights are strategised and only a limited number of capsules are allowed per player in most games.

The game types usually include capture the flag, elimination or attacking or defending a particular region. As the capsules are somewhat hard, the players are obliged to wear protective gear that include helmets, chest gear and masks.

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santaclarapaintball.com

Paintball is an extremely thrilling and enjoyable sport especially when played with friends. It also helps in developing skills while using actual equipment. It also enables to think effectively, make appropriate strategies and devise methods to take out the opposing players. The paintball shots feel realistic when fired and when hit.

Paintball is a character-building sport. It teaches teamwork, players develop leadership qualities and learn to manage stress. It is an exciting sport and when the adrenaline starts to kick, it becomes way more fun.

The Paintball Marker

This mighty piece of equipment is great to use. Feels good when you hit someone by firing it.

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Each gun has some basic parts: A container or a feeder to store the bullets, a trigger and a barrel, and a pressurized gas chamber for speed and range of shot.  The guns can come in varying sizes and mechanisms and its use may also vary from person to person. Paintball Markers may be semi-automatic to hit the opponent continuously or they may be pump-action to register a single deadly blow.

The game can be made to look even realistic and skillful by adding a whole lot of other equipment. These may include grenade launchers, mines or even paintball rocket launches!

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propaintball.com

Paintball is often used by corporations to instill leadership and stress management qualities in their workers. The game acts as an opportunity for people to show off their skills and capabilities. Other than that military personnel also through this game, train the officers for combat!

 

Written by: Arsal Rana

Rock climbing: discover the undiscovered

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blogs.baylor.edu

Rock Climbing is an activity in which the participants compete to ascend or go through rock formations and surfaces. This sport is quite popular among individuals who try to test their abilities as it requires great muscular strength throughout the body.

Rock Climbing is difficult, dangerous yet utterly fulfilling. It gives the person the skills to overcome obstacles and achieve anything. With the proper knowledge of climbing techniques and functional gear, rock climbing can be a great activity and a spectacular hobby.

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www.discovery.com

Rock Climbing can be a fun way to push a person to the limits of their physical and mental abilities. It can also be a great way to experience some of the most stunning landforms and sceneries nature has to offer.

Rock climbing was a necessity long before it became a recreation. Evidence has been found depicting exploration of mountainous through rock climbing. Similar techniques were used for climbing castles too.

Free Climbing

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www.da-riva.hr

Rock Climbing can be done with or without the support of another person. Free climbing is the most common where the climber’s physical strength is at work. Ropes and other gear may be used for safety but they are not used to climb further an ascent.

Aid climbing

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climbcore.wordpress.com

As compared to free climbing, aid climbing is a style in which gears are used to help the climb and make upward progress. The technique of aid climbing is sophisticated yet it does not require immense physical stress.

Indoor Climbing

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Rock Climbing can be carried out outdoors as well as indoors. Indoor Rock Climbing has become a popular sport in which artificial structures are made to simulate outdoor rocks. Apart from being safe, it is popular spot for beginners to test their skill and technique before heading to the nature.

There are countless climbing locations spread throughout the northern areas of Pakistan, most of the areas being unexplored. The Trango (Nameless) Towers are one of the most beautiful climbing sites on earth, and expert climbers from around the world visit this place. They comprise the largest cliffs and most difficult rock climbing locations in the world.

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www.youtube.com

People from all over Pakistan are taking a keen interest in this sport and appropriate events are arranged to spread awareness.

 

Written by: Arsal Rana

Rappelling: overcome the Acrophobia

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shenandoahmountainguides.blogspot.com

An effective technique that climbers use to descend a steep cliff or mountain once they have climbed it. Rappelling requires a lot of climbing skills such as making knots and rappel anchors, using the rappel device and the back-up system. It is quite dangerous and is prone to accident if not carried out properly.

Rappelling is a good skill that is incorporated into a wide range of practical applications. This includes rescue operations into inaccessible areas and this technique is effectively used by military personnel to enter into areas that are well hidden and further up from ground level.

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www.strikehold.net

A person can rappel almost any high rise be it mountain, building or a waterfall. Apart from being an adventure sport in the hilly areas, rappelling can be a competitive activity. Rappelling is an extremely useful technique that may come in hand in many situations and may act as an escape mechanism in times of need.

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www.rockclimbing.com

Equipment

Rappelling is wholly the effective use of rope mechanisms. The main pieces of equipment used are rope, carabiners and harnesses. A carabiner is a metallic loop which is used to put together different pieces of rope. They are most essential for a descent because it functions as a locking mechanism when coupled with other carabiners. It allows for a gradual and controlled descent.

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The harness is a gear that the climber wears over the waist for secure descents. They must be comfortable enough for the climber to easily move.

Finally, the descender is the part that acts as a brake for the descent. For a gradual and steady descend. Owing to the complexity of its use, they are usually not employed but are extremely useful later on.

 

 

Written by: Arsal Rana

Paragliding: feel the skies

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It is a recreational and adventure sport of daring individuals. A paraglider is the parachute, a wing actually, using which the pilots glide through the air smoothly. The direction of glide can be controlled and usually experienced pilots make that last several hours long. ‘Flying’ through the air gives you a sense of freedom and delicacy. It clears your thoughts when you experience the beautiful sceneries all around.

Paragliding has evolved to become much more of a sport rather than just a hobby. Experienced pilots from around the world strive to perfect their flights by flying cross-country. It is not all descent but uplift when the winds are clouds are right, the pilots literally drift from cloud to cloud and cover large distances over land. The record for the largest distance covered in a straight flight is 311 miles (502.9 km) by South Africa’s Nevil Hulett.

The Wing

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The parachute is usually called a wing which is made from several pieces of fabric woven in a specific pattern. During flight, all physics is at work which was once described by the Wright Brothers. The wind pushes the wing upward and forward and it is the air pressure that is keeping the shape of the wing intact, making it aerodynamic. The size may vary depending upon the requirements and the number of pilots. Tandem paragliding is the one in which another individual may fly for teaching purposes or combined flight.

As a Competitive Sport

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As mentioned earlier, cross-country flying is a common form of paragliding competition with great interest in regional as well as international level. The Paragliding World Cup is held each year. The objective of the game is to fly through a predetermined course.

Several other aerobatic competitions are held which are relatively dangerous. These competitions require the pilots to perform certain maneuvers either individually or as teams. This form is the most breathtaking to watch from down under.

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Not all flights are at high altitudes but low lying flights are common too. Usually for beginners, they provide training for basics such as gliding and gaining height.

Safety

Great precautions are taken by experienced and trained pilots because it is the wind that makes the wing to fly. Strong air currents may hurl the pilot into dangerous situations or may damage the wing. Accidents may happen due to poor pilot training or the poor weather conditions. The risk of fatal injuries may be reduced by proper training and the use of suitable equipment for the pilot.

Written by: Arsal Rana

Archery: an adventure exploration

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For centuries, people belonging to different areas, ethnicities and tribes have used bows and arrows for the purpose of hunting animals and also to protect themselves. In the later years, bows and arrows were used in warfare by skilled bowmen. It was a good form of defense for the cities and provided ranged support as well. But with the advancement in technology it became obsolete. To this day, some tribes use it as their primary form of weapon. It is one of the oldest sports which is regarded to be closely linked to the development of civilizations.

Archery came up as a popular sport in the late 19th century and became part of the Olympics as well. In the mid 90’s, archery became a favorite recreation and competitions became more vying.

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As a sport, archery teaches patience and control. It requires precision, calm, focus and determination. It is often referred to as a sport that is easy to learn but hard to perfect which makes it quite addictive.

The Equipment

Bow

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The bows used in modern day games weigh around 45 pounds. There is a variety of different shapes and sizes available. The use depends upon the players comfort and ease. The bowstring is made of high-tech fiber stronger than steel. Stabilizers are mounted on the top and bottom to help in aim.

Arrow

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Shafts of arrows are typically wood. The arrow consists of an arrowhead attached at the front end which is pointy and sharp while natural or artificial feathers are used on the back end. The back support is commonly referred to as the fletching; designed to make the arrow fly straight. In any competition, the competitors may use unique colors.

Safety Equipment

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Most archers wear bracers to cover their forearms, a leather Chestguard to protect against the bowstring, and shooting gloves.

Other

A quiver is a container for holding arrows.

A bow sight can be used for aiming.

Competitive Archery

The most widely practiced form of competitive archery is target archery. The objective, obviously, is to hit as near the center as possible i.ei gaining the maximum points. The competition consists of several targets placed at varying distances involving many archers. It may be played outdoors or indoors.

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Another competition is the field archery. It is played on rough terrains and in natural environments. This competition is much more difficult and realistic. The goal of field archery is to improve the technique required for bow hunting by providing an outdoor setting.

Written by: Arsal Rana

 

 

5 Keys to a Positive Personality

Positive Perception

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You can’t do something good unless it has been given thought. Try to think in a positive and confident way. A change in the mind will be followed by changes in life.

Eat Healthy

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www.lifehack.org

The mind and body are deeply interrelated. When and if the body nourishes, the mind flourishes. Eat good nutritional food to get yourself going. It’s right when they say, “You are what you eat“.

Healthful Habits

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Engage yourself and your brain in activities that better your well being. Like the body, the mind also needs to intake good Mental Food. Think positive so it may train your brain to do so.

Worry less

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www.reasons.org

Try not to think of all the things that could or have gone wrong. Pay attention to what’s good. You should not worry too much about everything but instead let things flow as they are.

Good Company

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People who make you feel good and have a positive impact in your life should always be kept close. A good surrounding of people will allow you to think positively and do positive deeds as a result.

Written by: Arsal Rana

5 tips to improve confidence immediately

Ratify yourself

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Stop listening to negative remarks and pay no heed to pessimistic thoughts. Don’t allow the negative voices to nag you through your own self.Stop the negative self talk.

Disarm the negatives

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Stop listening to negative remarks and pay no heed to pessimistic thoughts. Don’t allow the negative voices to nag you through your own self.Stop the negative self talk.

Dress Sharp

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Not many people notice your physical appearance but it is natural for a person to feel irritated or dull if the don’t look good for themselves. Dress appropriately and mood-wise.

Practice

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Practice would most certainly make a man perfect, but in the process, it builds up self-confidence. Always come prepared for the job.

Gratitude

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Focus on your past successes and achievements. Hold yourself responsible and be proud.

 

Written by: Arsal Rana

6 things you should not miss during youth

1. The fun of being young

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Let’s face it. You’re never going to be young again ever. These years of life should be spent with joy and happiness and with all the people you have.

2. Travel

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You won’t get time for it when you’re old. With all the more responsibilities and tasks piled, there is little possibility you would a vacation. So, take a voyage while you still can.

3. Your dream

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The youth is the right time to pursue what you always think about and want to do. A little late and it’s already too late.

 

4. Games

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Play while your body supports you. It is a blessing to be able to take part in whatever you like. Your mind may still be young but won’t help you unless your body thinks the same.

5. The Company of friends

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Apart from being extremely likable. A gathering of friends teaches many lessons.

 

6. Opportunities

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The world all available for exploration. Everything up for grabs. Everything can be a future prospect.

 

Written by: Faran Shahid

5 major mistakes that can possibly destroy your future

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1. Procrastination

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The greatest mistake a person can make is procrastination. It is a major hurdle towards success and a tempting one as well. Putting off today’s work for tomorrow causes work to pile up and stress to build. In these conditions, a person cannot have peace of mind and focus so his output would also decrease leading to achieving less in more time. These causes you to miss chances you could otherwise take up, brings down your reputation as you don’t submit the tasks at the required deadline.

2. Staying stagnant

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When you have achieved something you should never become complacent and think that you have done enough and that you should now relax. Life conditions are ever changing and if you stay at one place without trying to achieve anything you will be left behind and will fail to keep the goals you have achieved. Remember; it’s easy to achieve your goals but it’s harder to maintain them and it’s even harder to set higher goals and achieve them as well.

3. Spending mindlessly

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Spending without saving or spending without keeping a record of it is one of the surefire ways to destroy your future. You should always have some money saved up so that you can counter the hurdles life throws at you unexpectedly and you don’t have to rely on anyone else. It is advisable to have at least a month’s salary’s worth of money saved up so that if one month you have some unexpected problem you can compensate for it and don’t have.

4. Neglecting your body

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Health is one of the greatest treasures of life and it is important to take care of it. Hospitals and medicine are expensive and with your body out of action focusing on work would be difficult. There would be problems with meeting the expenses. In this case, prevention is better than cure. You should have regular checkups so that you can nip the problem in the bud and continue working as usual.

 

5. Giving away your power

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When you encounter hardships in your life there will be many instances where you would someone else to make your decisions for you as it would be an easier choice. However, giving up the right to decide what to do in life is not good. If you do this once you will do it whenever the going gets tough. In the end the other person would be using you to achieve his goals by making your life’s decisions the way they suit them not the way it is beneficial for you.

 

Written by Faran Shahid

7 Markhor reactions we can truly relate to our everyday life

  1. Walkin’ through the valley of death,

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  2. When your mother cooks biryani for the dinner,

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  3. When you get free food after a seminar,4

  4. When you get your report cards,

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  5. When you see a person you don’t like,

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  6. I don’t even need to say anything,

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  7. When the assignments are not done the deadline is about to end,

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Written by: Alina Takreem

8 memorable moments from Markhor 14′

1. The moment when it all get started!

The excitement of travelling, the joy of making new friends, and the passion to learn something,       well you’ve got to pack all these things as well, along with your stuff.

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2. The moment when the delegates took the oath!

When you realize you are going to do something very phenomenal with your life, the wilderness has just begun.

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3. The warm up exercises moment!

Getting ready for all the fun ahead and stirring all the energy inside you. This is the best chance to wake up the passionate Markhor inside yourself.

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4. The posing-for-random-pictures moment

Who doesn’t like to be photographed? even the photos look good when there is green in the background.

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5. Did I mention the bathing-with-the-sunscreen moment

Hiking boots, check!

sweaters, check!

jackets, check!

packing done?

Of course not, leave all the space in your bags for the bottles of sun screen to take with you.

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6. bagpacks *.*

They give you backpacks as well, isn’t it amazing, I mean, these are good actually.

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7. Dance till the world ends!

………

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8.  And the famous award winning moment!

I want to thank my parents, friends,…..Ooops, okay prepare your thank you speeches as well, for who knows, you’ll be the lucky one.

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Register away, people!!
Now is the chance

 

Written by: Alina Takreem

10 surprises you will find at markhor

Division into tribes. They become a part of you and your unforgettable memories here.

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Exercises before hiking

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The fun in hiking. Along with the tiredness

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The sunrise at the peak

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Nature with all its exquisite beauty

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The breakfast was good

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Camping is fun

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Meeting people from all over Pakistan (Cultural Festival)9

Conserving the nature and preserving its beauty.

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Getting featured in prominent newspapers

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By Faran Shahid

Facts about Mushkpuri you need to know today!

It is approximately 2800 meters above sea level!!

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Four kilometer long trek to Mushkpuri top starts from Nathiagali spiraling upward through breathtaking pine forests.

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The view of the flowery blanket over lush green summits is spectacular.

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The sunsets are mesmeric.

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The starry skies at night have nothing even near to equivalent to them.

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The sight and sense of sunrise in the morning is no less than any heavenly experience.

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Mushkpuri! Here I come!!

Written by: Haadiya Bashir

Let nature be your mentor

“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” –Albert Einstein
Wilderness can be the best mentor.  Here are the seven things you must learn while exploring nature.

Thoughtful contemplation of nature teaches that we know very little about life. It is much more than we perceive in our daily life.1

Adventures increase your self-confidence and strength.

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Attitude of gratitude and love towards nature brings contentment and relieves pressure.

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Through exploring our senses we can revive a more vigilant and more deeply alive link to life as it is at the moment and we can explore our senses while exploring nature.

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Nature helps in improving the sense of direction and intuition.5

According to a study, spending time in nature makes people feel more alive and happy.

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Resilience is being tough like a seed that bursts opens the ground and starts its life as a plant.7

 

Written by: Haadiya Bashir

 

4 skills you need to develop to succeed at the workplace

Public speaking

A successful person has the ability of speaking persuasively in front of an audience. To convey your thoughts and ideas to group of people efficiently has to be a thing one has to master.

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Adaptability

The world is changing every day, an idea or a project that you develop may not be that efficient for all times to come. To be able to immediately adapt to the changes around you is quite important.

2

Decision-Making

Being able to absorb the changes and situations and counter them proficiently is what separates you from the rest of the bunch.

3

Social Intelligence

It is the ability to get attached to people deeply and directly and perceive the correct reactions and act accordingly.

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Written by: Arsal Rana

5 Mountain wildlife that are worth observing

Alpine Ibex

A stocky individual from the goat family that lives in rocky regions of Europe which is exceptionally uncommon to find

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Snow Leopard

Try not to get too excited when you see one!

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Giant Panda

This stunning black and white animal that is highly endangered is most commonly found in China.

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Pika (Rock Rabbit)

Normally found at high altitudes in North America. They are small mammals related to the rabbit.

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Brown Bear

This majestic animals is quite ferocious and is best observed from a distance.

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Written by: Arsal Rana

8 great advises from successful people

1. Phill Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

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“There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

2.  Colonel Sanders, founder of KFC:

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 “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

3.  Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

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“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

4. Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

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  “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

5. Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

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“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

6. Mark Twain, Famous Author:

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“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

7. Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

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“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

8. Steve Jobs, Cofounder of Apple Inc.:

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“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Written by: Alina Takreem

5 pictures that would show you the reality of Markhor!

Did you think that was the conference?

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That’s really what it was

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Did you think it is going to take place some where like here?

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This is where it took place

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Did you think this is how are they are going to serve food?

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This is actually how it is going to happen

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When I said you are gonna have fun, did you think of this?

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Well this is what it is going to be

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This is not how they are going to teach you,

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This is how!!

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So, are you ready?

Written by: Alina Takreem

The 3 lessons you learn when you observe nature closely

The Universe runs on love

It is the one true thing that holds together the environment which would be grasped by chaos otherwise. Even in nature, the wildlife care for one another and rely on each other to get along. This form of emotion is one of the purest.

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Simplicity is noble

God’s creations are unique and complete. People, nowadays, have adopted artificial ways to please themselves and those around. What nature teaches us is that there is a certain splendour in simplicity.

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Some forces are Uncontrollable

People have always tried to control what may seem exquisite and challenging. But has failed to do so. Nature teaches us that not all things that surround us may be controlled and that some forces should not be meddled with.

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Written by: Arsal Rana