Book review Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

#AnIdeaADay #BookReview #BookLearning #WhoMovedMyCheese #SpencerJohnson #ComfortZone

A day before yesterday, I went to the office of the controller of examination Jamia Millia Islamia to meet Dr. Faizi, the controller of examination, for some career advice.

We began talking and after giving some reasonable advice he suggested me a book to read which titled “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. Apart from a very attractive book title, I have heard about book several times and many of my friends already recommended this book to me in the past.

So I decided to read the book the moment I stepped out of the controller’s office and today I finished the book and I am going to share my learning and review of the book.

This book revolves around a very short story of 4 characters. I would not be giving away the summary of the book since it would not be fair to a person who is going to read the book. Instead, I would share my insight from the book.

“Cheese” here refers to the things that we want from life, it could be anything, a job, a business, or a happy life. The problem starts when things start to change because we like to live in our comfort zone but if things are not working out in our comfort zones we need to change. The awareness that we have to get out of our comfort zone in order to get what we want is crucial in this fast moving world which is also changing remarkably fast.

Look closely , everything around you is changing too fast and if you are not comfortable with changing yourself odds are that you would be left behind.

The characters in the book are very easy to relate to, and they represent any person’s current situation, meaning you can easily identify which one is you and it’s fun to see the turn of events happening with those people.

If I would have to share only one sentence from this book which struck me most I would share this sentence which goes as.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”.

Originally posted at June 30, 2016 at 10:51PM faisal raza #anideaaday


Energy If Not Channeled Properly


Energy if not channeled properly lead to disaster.

There’s a reason why there are so many black hat hackers in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, and other war-torn countries. The students in these countries are not able to channelize their energies in a proper way. Instead of working productively for the society and creating something, they start working on destructing things to gain attention and recognition. The government in these countries are incompetent to provide any support to these people so they set out on their own and do whatever they like to do to gain significance in the world.

Today I met a very ambitious person who has set out to do greater good to the society but doing it in his own ways. Being naive is in the default nature of being human. The good thing, however, was that he listened and took advice from people who were wiser than him which is quite rare nowadays. It was really nice meeting this gentleman, and I wish him all the very best for this future endeavors.

Chatter of The Masses

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Remember the time when you met a relative after a long time who has just visited your hometown?

Noise is technically defined as random fluctuations that do not contain meaningful data or other information.

Talking about people,their lives, and opinion is just noise. We are surrounded with people who practice this incessantly. Yeah, once in a while it is nice to know about people and their lives whom you are related with but making a habit to only talk about people and their lives is not going to help you in any way.

Today’s visit was fruitful however because I got to know about so many things that are happening in my hometown but I wouldn’t discuss anything with anyone anymore about it because it’s all noise. Bob Proctor, calls it the chatter of the masses and says that it does not contain any relevant information and it only wastes time. At the same time talking about people is only acceptable if by any chance it motivates you in any way or if you can learn something out of it.

The Acceptance Of Using Technology


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The interesting thing about technology is that it changes remarkably fast. Sometimes so fast that the people who using them are not able to cope up with the changes.

Let me share what I mean by this.

With the advent of WhatsApp calling feature, I have long forgotten the conventional calling whenever I call home. But lately my cousins at home are one step ahead of me and every now and then they connect with me using Facebook video calling feature.

However, what I have found is that all we do while video calling is look at each other and smile. There’s no real conversation happening in Facebook calls, not because they are not good enough, but mainly because we are not habituated to do that.

The acceptance of using technology to the masses always comes later than the technology itself.

Finally, I completed the book “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership” by Richard Branson


Finally, I completed the book “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership” by Richard Branson, the English business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. It took me more than a month to complete this book, mainly because of Ramzan and my father’s visit to New Delhi.

Ramzan has altered my routine big time, not only the daily running is out of the way but after Aftaar (the time when Muslims break their fast) it’s almost impossible to do anything. The time which was dedicated to book reading is now converted into lying around time and when my father was with me it was intense discussion time. My father is a very religious person and during his visit we discussed life, after-life, and Islam. In the beginning, he didn’t support my decision of writing daily but this time, he seemed pleased with it.

I am very happy that I finally completed this book today and now I’ll start reading the book “Permission Marketing” by Seth Godin. My Evernote is filled with the notes that I have taken while reading “The Virgin Way” and I would be sharing the book review and learning very soon.

Calling Ourselves Educated


Today I came home by Uber, I generally travel by bike which is pretty convenient in Jamia Nagar area because traffic jams never affected my routine. On the other hand, it is really difficult for a cab to pass through this area, no wonder many people claim we(as a Muslim community) are backward. It took us 45 minutes to cover only 2 kilometers and the reason was only a few people who didn’t know what they were doing.

Our mindset defines the actions we take and the way we live our life is directly proportional to how conscious we are of our surroundings.

Visit Jamia Nagar and you can witness the underdeveloped nature of people who live here. The reason there’s so much chaos in this region is because people have a very self-centered nature and everyone is thinking only about themselves. Education is not about getting a degree, it’s about becoming a learner for life, it’s about having a place in the heart for others, it’s about putting your feet in other people’s shoes to get their point of view.

Parking on the roads and blocking the road reflects that we have missed something as a community big time. Throwing garbage in an open area for so long reflects that we are okay with that. People of Jamia Nagar think it’s the MLA’s duty to solve their problems. Things will not change until we are conscious enough to solve our own problems.

No One Can Protect Anyone


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I am a huge game of thrones fan, and the last episode just blew my mind. There are so many things which every GoT fans are already talking about and I liked everything about the last episode, but one thing just stuck my mind since the day I watched the episode.

“No one can protect anyone”, said Sansa.

The way Sansa has emerged in the series from being a dumb princess to finally a wise strategist is simply amazing. It reminds me of my journey from being a self-centered, insecure, angry boy to a more aware and engaged observer of the universe but unlike the journey of Sansa mine was quite less painful.

Some people get everything they need and have everything they ever wanted since their birth and being grateful never occur to their thought process, it’s only after having rough times they find strength in their weaknesses and evolve to become a better version of themselves.

Sansa and I have that in common.

I am grateful for everything that has ever happened to me.

The Electric Rickshaw


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Jamia Nagar is jam packed due Ramzan and Eid shopping in these days. I had to run some errands but going to Batla house by bike was a bad idea, so I traveled by the electric rickshaw.

These electric rickshaws have become very common in these areas, and we now see plenty of them everywhere. In the beginning, they use to wait for 4-5 people before making any journey but now I saw them only with 2-3 passengers because of the sudden increase in their numbers. Due to this they also have started to play an important role in traffic jams.

I often have small talks while commuting it helps me understand other person’s point of view. Today was not an exception and I started talking to the driver. Interestingly I got to know about various trade secrets about buying a good electric rickshaw, and in addition to that, I got to know about his life. He was an electrician and was working in Saudi Arabia for last 3 years, and while waiting for the visa for his next visit he thought it would be a good idea to run electric rickshaw during the waiting period.

“The most difficult part for rickshaw driver is that nobody treat us well, and we are the first person to be thrashed in any traffic jams”, he said.

It made me think how difficult it really is for those who are in this business helping so many people commute so well in difficult times, and yet they are the ones who are treated as if they don’t have any dignity.

Top 10%


Being in top 10% in anything has a story. It says about consistency, persistence and love for the work.

Today’s digital world is filled with lots of tools which we can use to enhance our productivity and efficiency. One of the tools I use the most is Grammarly, an application for people who love to write and need help while editing the content. It points out the mistakes before anyone else does and it does it very well.

One of the best things they do is that they send weekly stats on my mailbox. For a long period of time, I ignored their updates because I was at the bottom. But recently these updates has started to motivate me a lot and I have been writing more articles than ever. Now I wait for their weekly emails to see my progress to see if I did what I was supposed to do in the last week.

Marketing has evolved to a whole new level and this strategy is more customer focused than ever. Instead of shoveling their cutting edge technology down the throat of customers they send stats which are very relevant for the users.

Problems Compound Over Time




Problems compound over time if left unacknowledged.

When we are working on a project we face problems and it’s inevitable to have problems. Not acknowledging the problem leads to the far bigger problem which is the direct result of ignorance. However, we can avoid problems by simply planning  well.

Planning can do wonders of done properly.

Here’s a funny story about Problems.

In my TCS days, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was a project manager at that time. He said that it’s very important to leave some problems unchecked because solving them in the first place will only diminish his role as an efficient manager because if the problem does not arise everyone thinks there was no problem(A tricky situation, if you think about it).

Over time in MNCs like TCS and Infosys, the projects become stable and seldom have any serious problem which led the senior management into thinking that the project doesn’t need as many people as it currently has. The first person to lay off easily is the manager and that’s why in order to maintain the foothold on the project some managers just ignore the problems and wait for the right moment in order to come in the limelight.

This is a pretty clever strategy but not a productive one, it’s actually a cover that some people use in order to keep doing nothing and reap benefits.

The world of a startup is indeed far different from an MNC.