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Archive for the ‘London Olympics 2012’ Category

In this blog I’d like to talk about someone whom I have immense respect for and a great degree of admiration. In fact he doesn’t even know I am writing this! So when he reads it, it will hopefully be a pleasant surprise for him. However before I do that. Let me talk about the phrase “Do the right thing”.

“Do the right thing”

Image source.

What do I mean by “Do the right thing?” In order to understand this you have to understand a little bit about me, however what I am going to tell you is nothing unique to me and something many can relate to me. I had seen in my life that often people were nice and “did the right thing” but did not seem to be rewarded for it or seem to succeed. In fact I remember going to one training seminar and airing the question “do nice guys finish last”. This was a Bruce King seminar (click here if for a previous blog I did about him). Bruce, if you have ever attended any of his talks, is a very practical person and to the point, very much grounded in reality and common sense without any excessive shpeel and so on. His answer was no they don’t and he gave reasons. I am sure all of us at certain time have “done the right thing” or been “nice” and not been rewarded for it or even in fact seem to have suffered from it. There are others out there who will say the world is a rough place, so you too must be ruthless, tough and “cut corners”.

Anthony Charles, a former mentor of mine. A great guy!

I haven’t said this to Anthony in so many words, so it may surprise him a little. However amongst some of the key things I learnt from him is that “Nice guys do not finish last” and you do not have to be “ruthless” (a euphemism for quite a few things) to be successful. Doing coaching and mentoring with him I changed. I felt more at ease with things and less critical of things if they did not turn out the way I wanted. We are all familiar with karma and the statement that “What goes around, comes around”, well I personally very much believe that and have experienced it. However for most of us that statement is for negative things, that is people will get their comeuppance for misdeeds they have commited! However what I have learnt and also experienced is this.

What goes around, comes around = is also for the good that you do.

What goes around comes around, including the hard work and positive things you do, though perhaps not when and where you want it exactly.

Image source.

Now this does not necessarily mean you do something nice for someone and you will see an immediate reward. The person whom you help may even be ungrateful to you or in fact downright nasty. Some misinterpret kindess as weakness or naivete. However  in the long run this good that you did will come back to you sometime in the future, not maybe from that person or that project but something completely unrelated. This realization helps us to remove any bitterness or resentment that we may have for not getting the respect, appreciation or benefits that we feel we are due as a result of doing something positive.

Even my voice changed, meaning the tone when I spoke was different. Friends observed that I sounded calmer, more grounded and sure of myself, which I was! This is a huge topic and deserves to be expanded on and in the future I will talk about Australian writer, Andrew Matthews, whose work I greatly admire.

However once again another thanks to Anthony. Anthony is currently working on Team Titanium, which is about helping people to develop their business skills and small businesses. I wish him good luck! Especially at a time when the UK is in recession and people are finding it difficult but also with London busying itself for hosting the Olympics in a few months. 2012 is an important year for the British economy and for London in particular including potential small businesses who will need as much help as they can. Anthony himself was involved in projects and work in the past to help regenerate and develop parts of East London, including the areas which will be home to the Olympics.

London, the financial centre of Europe, an image of Canary Wharf. Team Titanium is looking to help people deal with the recession and grow their businesses.

Image source.

The river Thames, London will be hosting the Olympics in a few months which will have an impact on the UK economy.

Image source.

The Olympic Stadium in London, as the city hosts the 2012 Olympics.

Image source.

–  Jahan Choudhry

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2011 has finished and a new year has come in.

2011 was definitely a very memorable year, if not people on an individual level then undeniably on a global level. It was the year for instance that saw the “Arab spring”, where people in this region for long home to despots and dictators started to rise up against their rulers and demand change. This was something which captured the imagination of the whole world and it was more successful than for instance the “Prague Spring” of 1968, which was ultimately crushed by Soviet tanks.

Prague spring of 1968, crushed by Soviet tanks.

 The power of the “Arab spring” was such that even when the military did send in soldiers such as Libya, the regime itself ultimately ended and not the revolution. It all started off in Tunisia then swept the rest of the Arab world changing that region which is geographically and economically at the centre of the globe for ever.

People march for freedom in Tunisia, the country where the "Arab Spring" started.

We will have to wait and see what sort of middle east emerges after the Arab spring but nothing will ever be the same again, especially in Egypt a country which by itself is around 1/4 of the entire Arab world in population and has a huge cultural and intellectual influence on the rest of the Arab world.

The USA

In the USA, we continued seeing the presidency of  Barack Obama and the heated partistan fights in the US congress between Democrats and Republicans, with the drama of the federal government even stating that government offices might temporarily be closed due to financial reasons. There were huge arguments over health care and of course the debt. The struggle for the Republican candidacy for the white house has begun.

Advocates of wider medical care in the US.

Republican leader, John Boehner who was engaged in heavy debates with the Democrats over economic cuts, source: Zimbio

Boehner, Pelosi and Barack Obama from left to right. The Democrats and Republicans had some of their biggest ever arguments over the economy and government spending this year.

 So many things happened in the US in the fields of politics, economics, sport and so on but the one other thing I will mention is the death of Steve Jobs.  Jobs, had become more than just a business figure he had crossed over in to the world of popular culture and universal recognition by virtue of the success of his apple products. I personally have met different people from across the world who said if they could meet anyone then they would have liked to have met Jobs. This was before he passed away.

A younger Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs with perhaps his most famous creation, the Iphone.

 Asia

Asia saw the continued rise of China and India, with China still on course to overtaking the US as the biggest economy on earth and India growing too including increased car production and exports of its cars to Europe.

India's Tata Nano. The Indian economy is growing and plans to sell more cars to Europe.

 Asia however saw continued instability in Pakistan including the killing of Osama bin Laden. The year in Asia ended with the death of North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Il, now replaced by his son. The continent however on the whole is growing rapidly.

Europe and the UK

The UK this year saw both beauty and ugliness in the form of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton as well as the August riots repesctively. The world watched in billions admiring the history, pageantry of the spectacle that was the royal wedding.

Royal Wedding, Kate and William in a horse-drawn carriage.

The prince kisses the princess on the royal palace balcony.

 In August of that year, the England riots took place however which in stark contrast to the imagery of the royal wedding saw ugly scenes of crime and violence.

The rest of Europe saw, and still sees, what its top leaders openly say is the greatest crisis facing post-war Europe in the form of the possible collapse of the Euro. Greece is in deep turmoil and Italy is following suit, with one casualty being claimed in the form of Italy’s controversial ex-leader, Silvio Berlusconi who despite his tenacity eventually had to resign paving way for a new technocratic leader in the form of Mario Monti.

Riots in Greece, a country going through severe economic difficulties.

Former Italian prime minister Berlusconi waving goodbye as he resigns.

The new Italian leader and Berlusconi's replacement, Mario Monti.

 Europe is going through a period of major economic crisis now and we will have to see what happens. In eastern Europe however, Russia is growing quickly and is one of the BRIC states i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China.

BRIC leaders, Russia's Medvedev second from the left.

 Africa.

Africa saw the Arab spring take place in its Arab north and it’s sub-Saharan south it saw a number of things including the emergence of a new independent state namely, South Sudan. The main star of sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, has been Ghana. Ghana is the state which produced the famous pan-African statesman and visionary, Kwame Nkrumah. Ghana has the fastest growing economy in the world at 20% and is rich in oil and gold.

Accra, capital of Ghana.

Housing complex in Accra.

 South America

South America has stabilized after decades of right-wing military run states for decades, then followed by free-market democracies the continent is seeing a resurgence led by Brazil, but with Colombia, Chile, Argentina and others all being a part of this. The Brazilian economy has recently overtaken the UK economy as the 6th biggest in the world. The country is also preparing for the Soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

The head of FIFA announces Brazil as the winners for holding the 2014 world cup.

Brazil is looking forward to hosting the world cup in 2014, five times world champions Brazil will be favourites on their home soil.

 Nobody knows what unexpected surprises 2012 will throw up. There will be many interesting things to see. How the Obama administration fares? Who will win the Republican candidacy for the presidency?  Will there be a conflagration in the middle east involving Iran?  How will Europe tackle its economic crisis and the threat to the Euro? What will happen to internet giant facebook? The year ahead is definitely an exciting one as we go through the biggest period of flux since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

One thing is clear however, just as the world’s eyes turned to London, England in its billions to see the Royal Wedding the world will once again be looking at London as it hosts the 2012 Olympics.

2012 the world comes to London.

David Beckham and British Royalty, Zara Phillips at a London 2012 event, source: Zimbio.

In 2012 London will become the first and only city to host the Olympics three times.

Once again I would like to wish all my readers, a happy 2012 and to look forward to tackling all the challenges it will inevitably throw up.

Thank you.

– Jahan Choudhry.

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