Archive for September, 2010

We have now come to the next part of the series on the mind diet.  The mind diet is a mental diet where instead of focusing on taking in healthy food and not taking in unhealthy ones, we focus on taking in healthy thoughts and feelings and not taking in unhealthy ones.

So far we have covered the 5 mental “fruits” a day that one should be having every day. Let us recap what they are:

1 . Abundance

To focus on all the positive things around us and thus to increase them. Success breeds success.


2. Relaxation

To take time out each day just to relax, and thereby cleanse our body and mind, this is an effect a mental shower as it gets rid of a lot of the stress you accumulate in your day as a shower removes the dirt you gather in the course of your day.


3. Humour

Humour relaxes your body and is a form of relaxation but it is more active and stronger. Your body is more energized and freshened with endorphins released, it is a great energy boost and can make your mind function clearer enabling you to make wiser decisions rather than emotional ones.


4. Mental exercise

To do difficult, but enjoyable, mental exercises whether that be crosswords, play chess, remember phone numbers, mathematical sums or anything that stretches the brain and keeps it fresh and fit.


5. Learning

Learning about something new which will expand your knowledge of the world and of life, whether it be something academic or practical. Learning makes you a richer person and a more fulfilled and multi-dimensional one.  It helps you with your business skills, because one who has wider general knowledge or even knowledge of  a specific field is just a more informed person.

So these are the 5 regular things you should be having every day in your mental diet.  Just as regular food has vitamins, minerals and other nutritional benefits, so do these mental thoughts have benefits in terms of your mental health. 

Harmful mental “food”.

We have anything from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day, depending on how you measure it and how long you are awake.  However the vast majority of these thoughts are negative.  However negative thoughts are not merely abstract things confined to your mind which have no impact beyond. In fact they have a very real impact on your body and on your life.

To illustrate this.  Imagine you were to be constantly stressed and full of tension, what sort of mental impact would this have on you?

It could lead to heart disease, blood pressure, premature aging, weaking of the immune system and many other things.

Stress has a direct impact on the entire human body, including your skin – a stressed person’s skin is not as healthy as a happier person and they will age and wrinkle quicker – organs, immune system and even down to your cells.  This of course has an impact on your personal success and business success.  A healthy and active person is of course more successful than an unhealthy one.

Many writers speak of the need to eliminate negative thinking and thoughts.  However it is easier said than done. However I will take a more scientific and methodical approach to this. Two of the main causes of negative feelings are stress and being upset.


In order to deal with anything, the first 50% of the job is to understand it. What is stress? Stress is fundamentally two things:

1. The fear of something which we do not desire happening.

2. The desire to achieve something important and not being able to do it, thus the fear of the consequences of not achieving it e.g. being fired, losing our home, our relationship ending.

So no.2 is still the same as no.1 as it is about fear of something happening.

So we are going to do this in a scientific i.e. methodical manner, and now ask how do we deal with fear?

Fear comes from the thought that something which you do not want to happen will happen.  You have no control, or little control of it happening, because if you did have control of it happening or not, you would of course make sure it doesn’t happen.  Let me give you an example.  Someone hears that in his company there will be redunancies.  He then fears he may lose his job.  He has no control over whether he will lose his job or not.  However another person in the same company is actually, unknown to everyone else, very good friends with, or related to the person responsible for the redundancies.  He has no fear because he has control (in the form of his relationship with the manager).

Fear stems from the level of control you have over the desired/undesired outcome, and also what is at stake. For example a man who fears that he may lose his house will obviously be experiencing greater stress and fear than a man who fears he may face a parking ticket. 

So let us now look at how we deal with these two things; 1. The level of control we have over something, 2; How to deal with the undesired outcome happening.

1. Level of control

This relates to feeling powerless or impotent over your ability to make something happen. When we have full power over something happening we have no fear. If for example I said to you please close your eyes for 3 seconds, you would have no fear about this. Why? Because you have complete control over it. You are in total charge of your eyes. If however I said to you go and ask your boss for a payrise, you would have some fear because you are not in charge over deciding whether you have a payrise, the decision is in his hands. The more power and control you have over something the less fear you have it. You have no doubts about it happening, you are more than confident, you are certain. Let’s look at that word “confident.”

A confident person.


One of the keys to overcoming fear is confidence.  Confidence can be broken up in to being calm, that is not panicking and having self-belief in yourself and your ability or in God, or life whatever our beliefs are.  For example in soccer, major tournaments see teams which draw knock-out games having to settle the game through scoring penalties.  I can usually tell in advance if a football player will score a penalty or not by his body language. The ones that are looking nervous and not confident usually fail to score.

Those that walk in a confident and powerful way usually score. They are 1. Not nervous 2. Belief in themselves and their ability to score.  Thus you deal with stress by saying “let me calm down”, whatever happens I will succeed because I know I can, or if the worst happens it will happen but I will recover from it.

This is all easier said than done. The question is how do you gain this confidence? You gain this confidence by everyday thinking of all the successes you have achieved in your life, from the smallest e.g. writing a successful email, to bigger ones such as succeeding in getting a job and so on.  Your mind should constantly be fed with memories of times and situations when you faced difficulties and overcome them, when you succeeded. This naturally increases your confidence and your belief in your ability to succeed or deal with any problem. If you are not a confident person and are in fact a nervous one this is a gradual process, every day you think of examples of where you succeeded and start building up your levels of confidence.

In my next article I will continue on how to deal with stress and also with upset, two poisionous “foods” which we feed our mind with constantly.

– Jahan Choudhry

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We have now come to the 5th of our 5 mental “fruits” a day in our mind diet regime.

The first four were

1 . Abundance

To focus on all the positive things around us and thus to increase them. Success breeds success.


2. Relaxation

To take time out each day just to relax, and thereby cleanse our body and mind, this is an effect a mental shower as it gets rid of a lot of the stress you accumulate in your day as a shower removes the dirt you gather in the course of your day.


3. Humour

Humour relaxes your body and is a form of relaxation but it is more active and stronger. Your body is more energized and freshened with endorphins released, it is a great energy boost and can make your mind function clearer enabling you to make wiser decisions rather than emotional ones.


4. Mental exercise

To do difficult, but enjoyable, mental exercises whether that be crosswords, play chess, remember phone numbers, mathematical sums or anything that stretches the brain and keeps it fresh and fit.



The fifth of our 5 mental “fruits” a day, is learning. Now, what do I mean by learning you may ask? Learning is such a general term, what does it mean in this context and how does it help us in personal success and in business performance?

Human beings are multi-dimensional creatures. At the same time we can be many different things. We can be a brother/sister to someone, a son/daughter to someone else whilst being the father/mother of someone. We can be above someone in a company and have to give them orders, or we can be below someone. At times we must listen, at others we must be listened to.  Each relationship is different, a person who is one-dimensional will not be a successful person, but someone who is dynamic and flexible.  Also the main reason why we are seeking personal and business success is to feel better and happier, a better quality of life. Therefore there is no point in exclusively working hard whilst not enjoying life at the same time.

Learning something, should be something beneficial and constructive which adds to you as a person and to your understanding of the world. Notice I say “learning” not doing.  Doing would be something like going to the gym, painting or gardening, all of which are great, but we are at the moment focusing on the mind.  The thing, or things, which you are learning can be anything which you enjoy and which you feel is useful and adds value. It can be anything.  Think of something you enjoy, for example maybe you enjoy shopping or buying designer labels. You could then start reading different biographies of famous business people who started department stores or famous designers. 

It could be a new language, it could be a new skill, it could be learning about something which you are not good at. It can be something academic or practical.

Learning has so many benefits.

1. It will enrich your life and expand your knowledge.

2. Depending on what you do it enable you to meet other people.

3. It exercises certain parts of the brain which are stimulated whilst reading and absorbing information. Just as in a physical fitness regime you would seek to exercise as many parts of your body such as your biceps, abdomens or other areas.

4. It makes you feel better and can release dopamine which gives you a positive feeling.

5. When you start learning about one thing, you inevitably start learning about other things related until you learn more and more. A well informed person is definitely a more successful person. In business terms people who are very well informed about many different things have the ability to recognize investment opportunities that the less informed can’t.

6. Socially you have more to speak about or to contribute. People do not like those who have nothing interesting to say or share.

Learning is a lifelong process. For those of us who have children a key part of raising them successfully is not just clothing them and nourishing them with food, but it is also the mental nourishment of the mind which we seek to provide them in order to make them successful in life.  However learning is not something that should stop after adulthood but should continue.  The more we learn about the world that we live in, the more we can benefit from it and the more we can contribute to it, and when we contribute to it, we in return get even more back.

So this is the last of the 5 mental “fruits” that you should be taking every day.

So as many of us are now very familiar with the recommendation of “5 fruits a day” for the body and physical health, we need to become familiar with the concept of the mental 5 “fruits” a day that we need. In my next article about the mind diet I will be speaking about the things we should be excluding from our mental diet.

– Jahan Choudhry

BA, Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.

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We have been discussing the mind diet and the 5 regular mental “fruits” that we should be consuming mentally, in the way we should be having 5 fruits a day for our physical health.  This blog is continuing from the previous one: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/mind-diet-part-3/

1 . Abundance

To focus on all the positive things around us and thus to increase them. Success breeds success.

2. Relaxation

To take time out each day just to relax, and thereby cleanse our body and mind, this is an effect a mental shower as it gets rid of a lot of the stress you accumulate in your day as a shower removes the dirt you gather in the course of your day.

3. Humour

Humour relaxes your body and is a form of relaxation but it is more active and stronger. Your body is more energized and freshened with endorphins released, it is a great energy boost and can make your mind function clearer enabling you to make wiser decisions rather than emotional ones.

Mental Challenges

The fourth “fruit” in our daily mind diet is that of mental exercise or mental challenges. This can be in the form of crosswords, chess problems on the back of a newspaper, remembering telephone numbers or anything which stretches your mental ability, it is akin to going to the gym but in a mental way. We are all familiar with the health benefits of going to the gym and physical exercise, in fact many companies provide gym facilities for their staff, but we are not as familiar with the benefits of mental exercise.

Mental exercises and activities stop the aging process of the human mind. In order to look physically young we do physically young we do physical exercises, but in order to retain our sharpness and mental freshness we need to do such activities to prevent what is called “cognitive decline”. People who are middle-aged and are “scatty” are often so because mentally they are not active. To give an extreme example mental exercise may even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

So as part of your daily mind diet regime, you should have a mentally difficult and challenging activity which really pushes you, but ultimately gives you a feeling of satisfaction when you achieve it. This will make your mind stronger and fresher and – for the executives and professionals reading this – optimize your personal and business performance during the day.

Mental exercise helps professionals to be sharp and confident in being at their best.

This area is called “brain fitness”, so just as you require body fitness,  you require brain fitness. Different authors have written about this field and the famous writer Tony Buzan has written about something related (though not exactly the same) on how to improve your mental performance.

Successful millionaire writer and speaker Tony Buzan.

So mental exercise helps us to keep young and mentally healthy. It also gives us a boost. We are immersed in trying to solve a problem or task, so therefore we are practising the highly useful skill of “focus” or complete “concentration”. We exclude other things from our mind and mental chatter. Many successful businesspeople, sportsmen and women will tell you one of the key factors of their success was their ability to be single-minded, to think of only one thing and exclude other things. David Beckham for example achieved the global success he has by practising for hours and hours…..and hours, on his way to becoming a world-famous sportsman and now also a brand in his own right. When we are focused on one thing and exclude mental chatter, our breathing changes. Our whole body system functions more smoothly, free of worries or upset, but just focus on one thing.

David Beckham, a professional sportsman who rose to success by dedication and concentration.

Beckham, now a multi-millionaire recognized by hundreds of millions through out the world.

In addition to the great benefit of concentration, the feeling of satisfaction one gets from solving a mental challenge gives you a boost, and thus confidence in your own ability. Personal and business success is about confidence, about believing in yourself first, so then others will believe in you. There is a “feel-good” factor about solving something and it can even translate into a glow on your face, which projects success. People are attracted to success, and success breeds more success.

So this is the fourth out of our five daily mental “fruits” a day. I will be mentioning this more in the future with more detail.

–  Jahan Choudhry

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For those who wish to contact me, or network with me or any thing else they can add me to their facebook account.

Facebook was of course started in 2004 by Mark Zuckerburg and now has 500 million members and is the most popular website on the entire world wide web surpassing even Google. Barack Obama has a facebook account, so does Bill Gates. It can be used for social purposes but is also a very powerful business tool and part of social media marketing. In terms of increasing personal success it can relieve our mind from our own worries when we socialize online by looking at posts or photos of our facebook friends. It is a relaxing and positive activity.

 In terms of business success more and more executives are now realizing the power of facebook in terms of advertising and reaching new clients and customers and is not location-specific with access to members across the globe. Even President Obama is on facebook.

In terms of using this site, here is my advice for business professionals, those people who have normal jobs but wish to be financially successful and everyone in general.

Keeping in touch.

Facebook is good for keeping in touch with those friends of yours who do not see regularly be they old school friends, work colleagues from years back and so forth. You know where they are and what they are doing. In terms of your closer circle of friends who you know well,  facebook can be less important and you can send group emails or in-house jokes amongst each other and so on. I would advise people not to have intimate pictures on facebook or pictures of their loved ones. As a consultant and someone who works with successful people, one valuable piece of advice I can give you is never to engage in exhibitionism or trying to impress others purely for the sake of it. You will often ultimately regret it.

Real contact is the real thing.

The popularity of online social media is growing and growing.  However there is no substitute for real person-to-person contact in terms of socializing with friends or making an important  business relationship. In general not too much time should be spent behind the computer as this is not the way our bodies were designed to function and is not healthy. Our bodies are meant to go out and experience fresh air. Both fresh air and sunlight have of course health benefits with the sun providing certain vitamins such as vitamin D. 

 This is of course obvious common sense to many, however it needs to be said due to the number of hours people spend on their facebook account going through their hundreds of facebook friends.

I personally know certain millionaires and successful people that do not even have a facebook account. One famous example of this is Bill Gates who closed his account. A facebook account is by no means a must and nor should it be thought of in that way. However if used correctly and appropriately it is a good tool for keeping in touch and also for marketing for businesses. In this day and age for any business to flourish facebook, twitter and other sites can be utilized to great effect.

My facebook name is Jahan Choudhry, and my email is jahan_choudhry@hotmail.co.uk

– Jahan Choudhry

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Mind diet, part 3.

In the previous two articles about the  mind diet we spoke about how keeping a healthy mind, and being careful about what you put in it is just as important as a normal food diet.  We looked at some important things that we should feed our mind on daily basis.

1. Abundance

  Focusing on all the positive things in our life, or all the positive events on that day, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

2. Relaxation  

 The importance of relaxation.  Relaxation is very important. Just as we need sleep to recharge ourselves, and just as sleep reinvigorates us and our biological system renergizes the body during sleep, so does relaxation whilst conscious.  It is a form of emotional cleansing.  Just as we go to the bathroom to remove toxins from our body, so our body does a similar thing when we relax, especially if we focus on all the tension, pain and other negativity we have mentally accumulated through out the day being released and going away.

The third mental “fruit” out of our “5 mental fruits a day” is entertainment/humour.


Humour is something important and has many health benefits to the extent that there are even professional medical practitioners who have opened their own “laughter clinics” or something similar such as Patch Adams in the USA and Robert Holden in the UK or Dr Madan Kataria in India.  There are physical benefits to laughing such as releasing endorphins, relaxing the body and its muscles, boosting the immune system, preventing heart disease, exercise for the facial muscles as your jaw and mouth open and are stimulated heavily, this contributes to keeping your face looking younger, whereas an overly serious, or even depressed person, will have a face that starts to age quickly, or even start to have white hair very early. Laughter also helps prevent heart disease.

So how does this relate to optimizing your performance as a professional, an entrepreneur or increase your personal success? If you have ever attended a professional seminar by some of the world’s top speakers including for instance Tony Robbins, you will notice that they always inject humour into their delivery. Robbins is a man who has even coached several US presidents. Laughing and humour is a healthy exercise which should be practised daily. Apart from making one feel better, it relieves anger and frustration. When someone is angry and upset they may make hasty or poor decisions in their anger, they may not have a level head and they may ruin their relations with other work colleagues through arguments. They may react to provocations more than if they were a bit more humourous and light-hearted and decided they could ignore bad or provocative behaviour.

This improves the quality of their executive decision making, thus it optimizes their performance. Think back to times when you were angry and made decisions or commited actions which you later regreted and realized only happened due to your anger. Can you think of any?

Exactly.  Now incorporating a certain amount of time in your day for humour should not mean that you trivialize or belittle what you do even if it is something serious. For example if one is a surgeon performing vital life and death operations then one should be careful and responsible, but however in order to optimize ones performance, one will need some light humour or entertainment during the day in order to bring the best out of you. For example, would it be better for the surgeon to speak to the relatives of their patient with a serious and stern look, or with a warm but sympathetic smile? Which one would inspire more confidence in the relatives? The smile would of course. Having a laughter exercise during your day, or in the night should not negate your desire to perform the job that you do to the utmost level of professional excellence.

If you see world statesmen, such as the US president or the Russian, British, French or other leaders discussing serious affairs which affect the lives of millions you will see that they will still have a smile on their face and engage in some light-hearted humour. These are people at the very “top of their game”, who are in fact the most senior, the highest, the top executives in their country, they are not heads of companies, but heads of whole nations.

Two heads of armed nuclear powers, Obama of the USA and Sarkozy of France, alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in a high-level political meeting.

So whilst in the course of working hard during our day and being serious, a few minutes should be spent on humour, or some form of entertainment which relaxes us or makes us smile, whether this is a funny book, humourous. As with all things in the mind diet it is better to have an allocated time in the day when you are free and not working to do this. It is good to do this before you do your relaxation and abundance exercises as it makes those two exercises far easier. Humour is your third mental fruit of the day out of your 5 mental fruits a day.

Jahan Choudhry


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This is the second part of my article on the “mind diet”. The first part can be read here: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/mind-diet-part-1/

Mind diet, part 2.

In my previous blog I spoke about the mind diet. I said that just as we need to be careful what we allow to go inside into our body, we also need to be careful what we allow to go inside our mind. We need to avoid harmful things going in to our mind, just as we do with our body, and also try to put in beneficial things in our mind, as we do with our bodies.

The mind and the body are related, and a healthy mind helps to bring about a healthy body as well, in conjunction with the right diet and exercise.

Just as we are encouraged to have five fruits a day for our body, I will tell you of five pieces of mental food and nourishment you should have a day to have a healthy mind (and thus body) and greater personal and business success.


1. Abundance

The first beneficial thing I stated that should be put into your mind is abundance.

“Abdunance”, basically means just taking a few seconds or minutes out to think about something good which has happened to you whether it is “insignificant” as someone saying thank you to something, arriving at work on time or even just having your sight, or something as major as winning yet another £1 million contract. Focus on good consistently and you will start seeing more and more good coming your way.

2. Relaxation

The second thing is relaxation. One of the biggest problems with this is people ask the question.

“How do I relax? I worry if I am relaxing correctly”.

Now, let’s look at that sentence again in a bit more detail.

“How do I relax?”

That is a question asking for more information about something you don’t know. No problem.

Then, “I worry if I am relaxing correctly”.

There is something odd with that sentence isn’t there? If you don’t know then before carrying on reading, keep on reading that sentence until you finally figure out what it is, and if after trying you can’t then carry on reading this article (trying to work something out, rather than being just told it, is exercise for the mind and makes you rememer that piece of information more than if you were simply told it).

Did you get it?

If you did, great! If you didn’t this is the “odd” thing about the sentence.

“I worry if I am relaxing correctly”.

The problem when many people try to relax is they worry about how to relax properly. This is what we call an oxymoron (a self-contradictory phrase). You cannot “worry” about how to “relax”, because relaxing is the exact opposite of “worry”. The correct way to relax is simply to do whatever makes your mind stop thinking and trying to calculate things out, but just relaxes and enjoys peace.

“Meditation” seems like a very heavy term, but meditation is simply when your mind relaxes and stops constant mental chatter. When you stop mental chatter you stop using the left side of your brain which deals with planning, organizing and maths, and your right side of your brain is functioning which deals with creativity and imagination.

There are different ways to relax, but the best way to relax is to do whatever works for you. For some it may be listening to soothing music. For others it may be lying down on the sofa, for others it may be a relaxing bath. As long as you are spending quality time, not worrying about anything, not thinking too hard but just calm and content you are relaxing and recharging your body.

For those of you who are going through serious problems, and might even be somewhat angry reading this information which you think does not realize how bad our situation is or trivializes it, and ask the question “how on earth can I relax?! I have to….pay my debts/find a flat/solve my arguments with my partner/get over my divorce etc”, then you have to understand the following. Saying you can’t relax is the same as saying you can’t sleep. Even when people have serious problems they will never solve them by saying “I won’t sleep tonight and just worry about my problems and that will solve them”, because it won’t.

Even these people realize that we all know rest and need our sleep.

Therefore if you can find time to sleep you can also find time to relax, even if it is just 5 minutes of listening to relaxing music, lying down, enjoying the fresh air in a garden or a bubble bath (it is better to relax with your body resting somewhere and your eyes closed), because that 5 minutes is 300 seconds and in that space of time your bodys blood and cells will be circulating more smoothly.

A relaxed individual is one whose performance in life, work and in business is better than a nervous, worried or agitated person. A relaxed person is one who inspires confidence in us all. So the second part of your mind diet is to incorporate a daily 5-15 minutes of relaxation in your day, whether it be in the morning or evening, and as well as relaxing you can also focus on positive things at the same time.

All of this will help you with increased personal success and also optimizing your performance as a business executive or professional.

In my next article I will speak about the third element in your “mind diet”. In future articles however I will speak again and in more depth about both “abundance” and “relaxation”.

– Jahan Choudhry.

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Yesterday I went to an event in Central London to hear the American professional speaker Topher Morrison. See https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/seminar-in-central-london/.  This is my review.

The event cost £57 and was primarily as a promotional event to promote the actual main courses and seminars. Topher did say that he could have done the event for free, but he charges in order to attract a better calibre of audience. I agree with him on this. Often when you charge a low price or give something for free people do not value it. A case in point was a sales seminar I went to earlier this year, when two of the people who were sent there for free by their company clearly did not value it and had a very casual attitude to what was actually very beneficial information. The sort of people that did come to the event were clearly from seeing and speaking to them serious people, some of whom were quite successful.


I was surprised at how content rich the whole one day event was and for the money being charged people certainly got value for money, in fact more value than the ticket price. Usually speakers divulge some gems here and there and are a reticent about sharing real nitty-gritty details. I didn’t find that in Topher’s event and he was more than happy to share as much information about any question posed to him. In fact at times I felt he – out of courtesy to the questioner – spoke about it a bit more than it needed. Maybe he felt he didn’t want to be cold and just give a very short answer.

He dealt with things such as how to book venues for a far cheaper price, how to organize your whole pricing if you become a speaker, as well as of course how to become a speaker and how to be a good one. He gave lots of examples and the VIPS (people who paid higher prices to have lunch with Topher and sit at the front) would take turns to do things Topher asked them to in front of the audience including things such as the correct body language, use of arms, use of voice and so forth, but it was all good fun and enjoyable to watch and listen to Topher’s very detailed feedback, which was detailed – and when required critical – rather than generic or simply praising the person.

Topher certainly knows what he is talking about and also comes across as very genuine and successful, in that he does not try to push the hard sell too much and insult our intelligence. He was very candid at times.


The whole event was worth going to and was organized by Triumphant Events. The event did end with Topher speaking about the main courses he sells. The price may be out of certain people’s league but I would definitely feel that they would get a very good coach and mentor in Topher.

Daniel Priestley is also part of a programme which helps people to become what is known as a “Key Person of Influence”.

Overall Topher was highly informative, very funny and honest. Though to give a good review I also have to point the bad parts of an event too, I can’t really think of one as much as I am trying to think of one, to seem objective.  He was also aware of not being too loud and energetic as Brits are a bit quieter than Americans, something which he was acutely aware of as he mentioned.

A good event and highly useful in the actual content delivered.

– Jahan Choudhry


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