Protected: 2017 Goals Recap

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Research and Resolutions

1. Recent studies have linked more frequent Facebook use to poor physical and mental health, plus diminished life satisfaction. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.a decrease checking Facebook and Instagram from 1 time a day to 1 time a week 

2. Research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who spent money on saving time, reported greater life satisfaction. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.b dedicate a budget for secondary  Services

3. Research found that People who felt the wisest range of positive emotions had the lowest levels of inflammatory markers in their blood. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.c verbalize the positive feelings of emotion and express them, and take note on what causes them to increase it. 

4. Research shows that forgiving yourself and others can protect against stress and the toll it takes on mental health. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.d forgive and let go of all grudges 

5. Research shows that over planning and under planning trips may

Resolution 2017.10.1.e take smaller random trips and vacations locally 

6. Research shows any kind of green space can make you happier. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.f  insist on visiting and holding meetings or gatherings in green spaces 

7. Research shows that supportive friendships was found to be a better predictor of well-being than having strong family connections. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.g increase friends 

8. Research shows that giving makes you happier than taking. That Random acts of kindness can bring a person happiness. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.h do a random act of kindness every day 

Quote

All of Silicon Valley is based on character defects that are rewarded uniquely in this system. 

Po Bronson

AlTafseer: A Poem by Wissam Charafeddine

Recitation of a poem in Arabic at the Dearborn Open Mic.

Dearborn Blog

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Triannual Goal Report

It has been 4 months using the W Planner, and it is a good time for an overall reflection and analysis of managing myself for 2017.

Since February 1, 2017, when I started the W Planner electronically, I have had 1764 tasks.  I accomplished 1051 tasks, that is 60% of all the tasks assigned.

Some of the accomplishments of this year so far outside of full time work:

Accomplishments

  • Successful and comfortable Diet plan losing about 15 pounds and feeling healthier.
  • Finished a course in Coursera in Music Theory
  • Studied one full piece of piano, and half of another.
  • Established the Advisory Board in one of the Non-profit organizations and recruited a number of volunteers for it.  Also started two regular recurring meetups for it.
  • Established Meetups in about 40 cities for another Non-profit organization and membership skyrocketed.
  •  Started Facebook Live Series and recorded the first two episodes live.
  • Launching WDD with a full time Chief Designer.
  • Successful Family Vacation in Florida
  • Establishment of a Arches business group
  • Established new relationships through attending a leadership meeting for a specific Michigan coalition.
  • Found a co-organizer for Muslimish-Detroit
  • Secured the ANEX of the Arab American History Museum for the Arabic Poetry Meetup.
  • Completed 7 days consecutively of meditation.
  • Established Dearborn Blog and Detroit Blog.
  • Met with the renowned traveler and hiker Assam Saidi
  • Established Charaf Group LLC
  • Established Caulousheh
  • Launched Yousician training for Reem and Bob
  • Agreement on the structure of dearbornblog.com
  • Learned the 12 bar blues on the key of A on guitar
  • Finished reading and studying Deep Work by Cal Newport
  • Created Muslimish Conference promo video and 2017 conference site
  • Established Dearborn Arabic Poetry Open Mic (DAPOM)
  • Leased the HOUSE to be HQ for all companies
  • Managed to reach a success rate of 72% at one time which was the record high so far
  • Prepared for a lecture to be given in several conferences
  • Visited and Discovered London and reconnected with Walid Marmar
  • Gained Arab American News as a client for WDD
  • Established relationship with Sheik Ahmad Alkatib and Walid to establish IRSHAD office in London.
  • Trained Walid to represent WDD in England
  • Launched Arabic Poetry Night first meeting
  • Increased quality time with family
  • Won DENMARK in PS4 FIFA 2016 World Class level
  • Started Atkins initiation diet successfully
  • 14% fluent in French through Duolingo
  • Contracted advanced developers for advanced projects in WDD
  • Discovered a website that will allow us to create courses online
  • Took a Marketing Course successfully
  • Hanan Yahya joins powers with me to work on WDD, W Institute, and W Network.
  • Two certificates in learning guitar
  • Created the first video for W network and decided on direction of electronic marketing for it
  • Launched London Trip Travel Memoir and blogged half of it so far.
  • Launched my personal memoir and blogged up to 1984.
  • Initiated the IRSHAD Conference Planning Committee

 

Resolutions

2017.3.3.a: Wake up at 6AM. Meditate to 6:15. Deep Work 6:15 to 8am.
2017.3.3.b: In order for me to read and sleep, I have to be in bed by 10:30, otherwise a nap of 1 hour is needed in the afternoon.
2017.3.3.c: Check mail only once a week and scan only once a month
2017.2.24.a: Facebook is deleted as a phone application
2017.2.24.b: Ceaze sharing of movie going on last Tuesdays of the month and enjoy going alone
2017.2.23: Stop giving appointments to individuals who always perceive you as late
2017.3.7.a: Change resolution 2017.2.24.a from deleting Facebook App to delete or hide Facebook App (to accommodate work tasks when needed)
2017.3.8.a: Prohibit phone from bedroom after 10PM and move the charging station for it outside of the bedroom.
2017.3.12.a: Use Pomodoro technique for daily tasks. Each pomodoro section counts for two days on the planner.
2017.3.13.a: Use daily timed blocks technique on the W planner sheet or on a separate sheet or notebook.
2017.3.17.a: Implement Resolution #2017.3.3.a [wake up at 6. Meditate to 6:15. Deep Work 6:15 to 8am. ] gradually by decreasing 15 minutes weekly of wake up time  starting at 7:45AM
2017.3.20.a: Add Arabesque Cafe to Arches Time.
2017.3.20.b: Move Autoboard to LEKA/Geobuzz Time and Dedicate its time to cleaning and personal errands.
2017.3.28.a: Consider Arabic Poetry Open Mic part a Dearborn blog project.
2017.4.9.a: Incorporating Leisure and Social Time into calendar as one new category under Business.
2017.4.9.b: Make Europe trip every Spring a habit for Spring Break.
2017.4.17.a: Read two Get Abstracts a week and one book a month instead of one book every two weeks.
2017.4.17.b: Combine Charaf Group with Arches and Arabesque Cafe
4.17.17.c: Dedicate time for Leisure on daily basis.
2017.4.24.a: Organize goals as to measure closeness to achieving the annual goal
2017.4.29.a: Cook or try one new meal a week
2017.4.30.a: Cease sharing pictures with friends via text.

2017.4.30.c: Change resolution 2017.3.3.c from “Check Mail  once a week and scan  once a month” to “Check Mail and scan only once a week” since I have made scanning easier with Cloud Scan

SUCCESS CHART

HEALTH
Weight planned 201
Weight Actual 203.5
Diet 77.78%
68.85%
Menu 81.35%
Exercise 82.14%
Meditation 54.37%
Sleep 8 hours/day 48.59%
EDUCATION
Online Courses 81.75%
73.48%
Piano 59.13%
Guitar 55.16%
Publishing/ Writing 90.48%
French 89.29%
Reading 65.08%
BUSINESS
W Network 24.21%
44.61%
WDD 70.24%
Arches/W Institute/ Charaf 56.35%
Personal Errands 50.00%
Front End Dev. 40.08%
Dearborn Blog 14.29%
Leisure 57.14%
FAMILY, FRIENDS, PLAY, and COMMUNITY
Family 64.68%
88.39%
Friends 88.89%
game 100.00%
Non-profit 100.00%

 

 

Failures and Challenges

I am not afraid of the word failure, so I like to use it in a failing forward kind of way.

Below 70% that needs a new plan:

  1. Family Time:
  2. Dearborn Blog:
  3. Front End Dev.:
  4. W Institute
  5. Charaf Group
  6. Arches Group
  7. W Network:
  8. Reading:
  9. Guitar:
  10. Piano:
  11. Sleep
  12. Meditation

Below 88% that needed improvement:

  1. WDD
  2. Online Courses
  3. Exercise
  4. Menu

In My Presence Poem by Wissam Charafeddine

Dearborn Blog continues to promote poetry and creative writing through its Dearborn Open Mic.

Dearborn Blog

Dearborn Poetry Open Mic

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London Trip: Day 5: Trafalgar Square – National Gallery – Big Ben

Sleeping on the upper bed, I woke up Thursday morning while Walid is playing the creepy man prank on me, staring at me real closely.  I missed his creepy man jokes.  He used to stand behind the door of my office when we worked in 2004 in a cellphone shop, and watch me in a creepy way, and pretend that he is hiding when I see him.  Sometimes it made me wonder if a psychological issue was really being manifested.  Thankfully, it was  just a prank all along.

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Walid is 10 years older than me, but he has the wisdom of a 100 years old philosopher. He grew up in Beirut Golden time, in an ocean of intellectual waves, when Beirut was the Paris of the East.  Then the intellectual waves became intellectual wars, and they in turn converted to real wars, and he lived the civil war in lebanon that started in 1975 day by day, the Israeli occupation that swept up to Beirut in 1982, till he left in the 90’s, and the civil war outlasted him till the year 1989, when it kind of ended with the Taif Accord, while the war with Israel continued till today.  He studied music in California, and a bunch of other things.  He is a professional guitarist, a well learned pianist, a great composer, and an accomplished poet in Arabic.  He is a reference and an expert in the Arabic Language with all its branches, Arabic Music, Arabic poetry, and fluent in English and French.  He also speaks Spanish, and some Russian and German.  He is also an Islamic scholar, and few of his friends declared him as Mujtahid.  Although it might have been a joke at certain times, but it really reflected his intellectual capability to infer the jurisprudence he needed for his daily life.

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Walid is also a radio producer, video producer, a TV host, a columnist, a chinese cuisine chef, a donut baker, an educator, and school administrator. Continue reading “London Trip: Day 5: Trafalgar Square – National Gallery – Big Ben”

London Trip: Day 4: British Library – Russell Square – British Museum – SOHO

Someone once said that the greatness of a city is in the proportion of its public places to its private ones.  The British Library is not only a library.  It is a celebration of knowledge.  It is a museum of the history of script.  It is a compositor of the great documents written in history.   It is London’s largest indoor public space.  It holds over 150 million items. Almost 14 million books, 824,101 serial titles, 351,116 manuscripts, 8,266, 276 philatelic items, 4,347,505 cartographic items, 1,607,885 music scores, and 6,000,000 sound recordings, and that makes it the second largest library in the world after the library of Congress.   It is also a conglomeration of awesome cafe’s and shops.  Thus, it is a great place for studying or working with its free wifi and 10’s of sitting spaces.  5 to 9 thousand people visit it a day. Continue reading “London Trip: Day 4: British Library – Russell Square – British Museum – SOHO”

London Trip – Day 3 – Imperial College – Science Museum – King’s Crossing

I am writing about my 3rd day in London, but today is the end of my last 5th day.  It will be hard to go back and recollect the 3rd day with its feelings since by now I feel the city has overwhelmed me emotionally.

On the morning of Tuesday, I woke up early, checked out, and left my bag at the Bell Desk for a pound, and headed to Hyde park. Our next destination is Natural History Museum in South Kensington.  We will cross Hyde park going there, so it makes sense to start at Hyde park’s Italian Fountain cafe.  I love this cafe.  It is the first one I experienced in London, and it feels like home to me now.  Just like the myth that chicks will think of you as their mother hen if you are the first person to see after they hatch.  That cafe was my mother hen.

I wrote, and sipped on the flat white that seems the most popular drink in London.  Another reason to love this city is that my drink, which is usually not even offered by most American cafes, and if offered, not written on the menu, is the most popular drink here.  I guess I have a London taste, or since most of the cafes in London are run by Italians, an Italian taste for that matter.

When Walid joined me, we strolled down one of the beautiful paths of Hyde park going South, on the bank of the Serpentine river. Magnificent monuments and sculptures marked the intersections of the park walking dirt roads, and dogs roamed freely.  I always saw a scene in the US when two dogs, leashed and walked by their owners, meet.  It always seemed like they want to kill or rape each other.  Seeing dogs roam freely in London, and then bark and approach each other when they meet, but yet not touch each other, made me think that the dog-leaching thing in the US is way overrated.

London is an ever non-ending beauty.  It is one large classical museum.  The architecture merges together producing chambers and chambers of Art and Architecture.  Then lined up under these magnificent 3-4 floor historical buildings, cafes, pubs, and restaurants, book stores, tea shops, and little shops, very neat and beautifully designed and decorated. I was impressed by most of the logos and type fonts.

In approaching the Natural History Museum, we passed by the Imperial College, and there, there was a farmer’s market in the middle of the day.  It didn’t make much sense since it was Tuesday, but it was a gorgeous coincident.  Authentic healthy Indian chutney food (street food), fresh beef burgers or kabab in a wrap full of fresh vegetables, cookies, fresh apple juice, pies, coffee, and line up of choices in small canopies.  I could not resist trying a sandwich, while Walid bought a loaf of wheat bread.  Yes, he was eating mostly like Jolvanjone from La Miserable. That’s what I called him every time he was eyeing a loaf of bread to buy. He would get some yogurt with it sometimes, and sometimes he would wrap it with some avocado and honey.  He ate like prophets, talked like philosophers, dressed like a 90’s teacher, and sang in the streets like a crazy person.  I loved every second with him.

Every time we walked through or in a university campus, he could not stop comparing the experience to the strenuous experience of passing through the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Beirut, Lebanon, and how a guard needed to check his student ID otherwise he would not be allowed in.

There was a long line to enter the magnificent Natural History Museum, but next to it were the Science museum which had no line.  It wasn’t on my plan, and I thought it is similar to Michigan Science Center or Ann Arbor Hands On Museum, which is basically few activities for kids to educate them about some sciencitifc facts. I was wrong.  The Science Museum was a magnificent two parts, each 4 floors museum, that covered the history of science, especially as related to British scienctists, from 15 century to today.  I ended up separating from Walid din the museum, and ended up staying till it closed at 5:30PM.

I then was invited to give a talk at a book store near Kings crossing area, and so we did pick a hostel next to the book store and reserved one night there, two beds, in a room of 4 beds.  The talk was titled: “Meetup with Wissam Charafeddine, cofounder of IRSHAD”.  I arrived there, and there were about 20 people sitting on chairs waiting, from different age groups and nationalities.  I was introduced by a Persian English host, and then I proceeded to talk about Islamic Reform, the story of IRSHAD, and my personal story.  After we were done, I was invited for dinner in an Italian restaurant near by, and had a great conversation with a friend from the Western Desert, a friend from Palestine, and a professor from Egypt.  All of them are English now off course.

That was my first night sleeping in a hostel.  I was convinced by the feasibility of using a hostel from my friend, Yousef Alqamoussi’s experience with hostels in Costa Rica.  You can read all about it at onechapterone.wordpress.com.  A shared rooms by a group of usually young travelers, and common rooms to intermingle and socialize, or work and eat.  Rooms are used usually only for sleeping.  Sometimes there are toilets and showers within the rooms, and sometimes there are general toilets and showers that are shared through out the hostel.  Although I was eyeing the Astor Hostels (there are 3 of them in London) to stay at, I didn’t reserve prior to my trip because I didn’t want to restrict my plans in a newly discovered city.

We stayed at the Key Stone hostel, next to King’s Crossing station.  It was also across from two things on my plan:  The King’s Crossing Bookstore, and the SHOP and DO Tea shop, which was rated as one of the best tea places in London.   Walid didn’t join me for dinner, and resorted back to the hostel to settle and pray.  As a practicing Muslim, he prays three times a day at least, 5 prayers.  So if you are not a Muslim, there are 5 muslim prayers a day: Fajr (morning), Dhuhur (noon), Asr (afternoon), Maghreb (Sunset), and Isha (night).  Each prayer is made of a number of physical activities or postures and sayings associated with them.  While each of the prayer has a strict interval to be prayed within, Dhuhur and Asr internvals can be combined into one, and Majrib and Isha can be combined into one, without needed excuse for Shia Muslims, and with a needed excuse for Sunni muslims.  In order for a Muslim to perform his/her prayer, they need to do Wudu (ritual washing), and have pure clothe (no impurities on it, and impurities are blood, semen, urine, excretion, pork, dog stuff, alcohol for some muslims, and infidel stuff for some muslims).  And only when you thought this can not get more complicated, listen to this:  Your wudhu is invalidated by using the bathroom, sleeping, farting, or passing out.  For ejaculation or sexual intercourse, Ghusul is required (basically taking a shower).

In Muslim countries, there are mosques or places designated for prayers everywhere.  It is also a common scene to see people stopping, lining up, and praying on congregation.  In the West, Muslims suffer through this practice, and often get into awkward situations.  And here is one of the most awkward ones I have every heard about that happened to Walid that night.

Walid prayed 5 times a day during our visit to London.  Keeping up with my plans, he prayed all over the place.  At Hyde Park, in Russel square, in the basement of restaurants, on the lawn of the National Gallery, at the Elizabeth fountains in front of the gates of her Majesty residence at Buckingham palace.  He prayed Jumaa prayer in a mosque in Paddington.  The guy who he asked about Jumaa prayer because he looked Muslim basically took him with him. The best place to pray off course was inside the hotel room.  Well, in the hostel room in this case.  We booked a room of 4 beds (two sets of bunk beds),  and when Walid entered the room, there was a couple already sleeping.  Trying to be as silent as possible, and not wanting to turn the light on, while also his phone was dead as usual, he went out of his way, to go get a flashlight so he would not wake up the other guests.  He used the toilet and washroom that were outside the room so he would not cause noise by using the ones in side the room.  Then he placed his prayer rug in the room, in silence, in the dark, and he started praying.  He read all the prayers in side his heart, and made all the moves with the utmost silence he could perform. Nevertheless, after leaving the room for 10 or 15 minutes after he finished his prayers, upon returning to the room, he found the two couples out.  We are talking at about 12 or 12:30AM.  Their beds are undone, lockers are emptied, their bags disappeared.  This mystery puzzled us for hours, trying to figure out what happened.  I asked the reception about them, and they said they don’t know anything about them leaving. We had a hypothesis that they were scared shitless by Walid prayers.  Maybe they have never seen something like that.  Maybe they have an Islamophobia, and I say that innocently, not out of bigotry by them, but perhaps out of ignorance.  At anycase, we decided that Walid would inform the other guests in the room of his performance of prayer before doing so and old explain to them the prayer so they are comfortable with what he is doing.  The next guests we shared the room with for the next two days were fine.  Carlos,  a Philipino English guy, and a couple from Netherlands the night after.

We slept, and it was not our half way through the trip, but we have experienced so much so far.

London Trip – Day 2 – Notting Hill – Portobello Market – Buckingham Palace and Unexpected Digressions

The dark eyed, hazel haired Italian Fountains Cafe server smiled at me as she sees me open my palm with a bunch of coins in them.  I figured out it is easier to just let them pick up the coins which they need rather than to try to hold each coin to the sun, investigate it to decipher out all the engravings, 15th century emblems, and the detailed ornamentation of the crown of her majesty, what denomination of a coin each is, before I do the math and give the right combination.

Then proceeded to sit on the patio overseeing the Italian Fountains in Hyde Park. The Italian Gardens is a 150 year old ornamental water garden located on the north side of Kensington Gardens in Hyde park.  It is believed to have been created as a gift from Prince Albert to his beloved Queen Victoria.  After my friend Walid joined me, we took a strol down the serpentine river, and stoped by the Kensington Palace, which is a 500 years old castle with so much history, the last of which is becoming the home of Princess Diana. Continue reading “London Trip – Day 2 – Notting Hill – Portobello Market – Buckingham Palace and Unexpected Digressions”