Ashni Shah is a woman of many titles. Apart from being a mother of two daughters Diya (12) and Neha (6), she is also the wife of a businessman. Leeresh who is the owner of a fleet of horse and trailers - D.C. Logistics, is based in Springfield Industrial Park, Sea Cow Lake.
Despite being married to a successful businessman, Shah strives to be an Independent Powerhouse. She is one of South Africa's Empowered Women and the spokesperson for Women Empowerment and Youth Development. Also our very own Mrs. India 2013 1st Runner Up, Mrs. Philanthropist, Proudly South African and Ambassador for Married Indian Women of South Africa titleholder, Shah believes "titles are meaningless if there is no dedication and substance to take it to greater heights." One of Shah's fondest title's is LeadSA January Hero 2014. "It is a title which I consider worthy of myself as it projects Ubuntu (Humility and Compassion towards Mankind)" says Shah.
Shah visits many schools, shelters, organizations, homes etc. and through her interaction with many people, she has written her first book Shafali Singh - The Power to Change. "My book has been greatly appreciated by many readers, moreso, it is a book which many can relate to. The gist entails many aspects namely parent/child communication, generation perception, various forms of abuse, the norms of society and eventually the will to make a Change", says Shah. She has incorporated many case studies into my book and therefore readers are able to grasp the various incidents with ease. It is a fast paced book and after you complete reading it, you will be able to introspect and realize that life doesn't not come with a handbook. We are allowed to err but it is through these errors we all gain insight."
Having a huge following/supporters and many corporate sponsorships, Shah is a woman who exhibits intelligence, grace, dignity and confidence. Her motto for life is simple: "Humility is a Striking Quality which should never fade with time ..."
I imagine that, like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once. How on earth do you get out of that spiral? Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours.
Improve your time
Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better. For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus. Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.
Expect failure and fight paranoia
When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend. Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” -Richard Branson
Learn as much as you can
You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche. Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Look after your greatest resource
No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU. If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work. Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.
Don’t fall into the trap of working smarter and harder
As a society we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around. Great! The most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work.
Flying is obviously a much more convenient mode of travel. Quick and generally reliable, it gets the job done. But one thing flying can't do is turn the journey itself into a holiday experience.
This might require some planning, but hey, if you have a huge family not only will it be cheaper; you might learn something in the venture.
If you are considering breaking your mundane daily routine with a bit of holiday inspired fun, I strongly suggest taking a road trip around our beautiful country as opposed to a traditional holiday.
South Africa is perfect for jumping in the car and hitting the tarmac. It's easy to navigate, with tempting freeways leading out of the cities, and it packs a bulging lunch box of scenery - from snowy mountains to sandy beaches. With African villages and picturesque settler towns for resting your steed, you'll never tire of the road on these trips.
Last year, South Africa (SA) was ranked highly in a number of travel awards and reports, which rated everything from beauty to infrastructure, proving that our country really is one of the best places to take to the open road. In their Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013, the World Economic Forum ranked South Africa as one of the top 50 countries in the world for the quality of our roads and government prioritization of the travel and tourism industry.
Expat, Sine Thieme said, “Compared to the rest of Africa, South Africa’s road network is extensive and in good condition, but ... anyone planning on going on any self-drive safaris will travel their share of dirt roads.” Dirt roads are the most exciting part of driving through South Africa, taking you from a bustling metropolis to the bush in just a few days drive.
The Garden Route is our most famous route, ranked number 2 in the world by Rough Guides, “Mountains and vineyards on one side, and rocky shores and sandy beaches on the other.” Jill Starley-Grainger of the Luxury Traveler also ranked SA in her top two road trip. Even though she felt the Garden Route was “over hyped”, South Africa made it onto her list because she decided to take less traveled routes, and that, as they say, made all the difference. She cited South Africa as the best place for wildlife spotting, spying whales, penguins and baboons.
CNN listed the road trip along our coastline as one of their top ten ultimate drives and warned that with, “Over 65 wineries along the way, will have you wishing you were a passenger rather than the driver.
Thanking them is the least we can do as employers. We've all watched leaders give talks when they use the “I” word over and over again.
It never ceases to amaze me. I mean, how can these leaders honestly believe that they alone are responsible for the great news about the budget or the new initiatives or the greater morale of employees or higher customer satisfaction results? Really, how hard is it to say “we” were all part of the great accomplishments this quarter?
Saying “thank you” to employees is not just polite, it is critical for keeping them engaged. Acknowledging their efforts can serve to motivate them and inspire them to want to keep working at your company. In fact, many say that a personal “thank you” means more than other things you might do for them.
It's not just the front-line troops. I've talked to folks at all types of private and public sector companies, from part-time employees to senior executives. They all want to be acknowledged for their efforts. After all, given the 24/7 culture prevalent all around the world, people are working longer hours, over weekends, and throwing their lives out of balance.
Thanking them is the least we can do as employers. Maybe you don't think you are very good at showing your gratitude. Maybe it's not that important to you. But, trust me - it is important to those around you.
So, here are a few tips for how to thank employees:
- Look them in the eye when thanking them. If you are not good at this, then practice. It is important.
- Make it genuine and heartfelt. Tell them what they did that you are thanking them for. Be specific. For example: “I appreciate the fact that you handled that difficult customer in such a tactful way when you got him some water, and spent 20 minutes listening to him. You could have just thrown him out of your office after his first 10 minutes of ranting.”
- Send a personal, handwritten note. It is amazing how long people keep these types of notes. They post them in their offices and they show them to their families and co-workers. In fact, if you go into someone's office and see the notes they have posted, you can learn a lot about what they value.
- Take note of their sacrifice. Acknowledge those times when they worked overtime without pay, they came in on a Saturday, they gave up some family time, etc.
- Use each and every day to find someone in your office you can thank. Don't overlook the cleaning person or the executive in the office around the corner. Everyone wants to feel valued.
- Don't wait until tomorrow. Say “thank you” to someone at work today. You'll be glad you did.
You might often wonder why all health care professionals harp on… and on…about getting regularly screened for diabetes. Yes…your blood sugar might be high or even fluctuate dramatically during the course of the day. So What? “I’ll just stop taking 5 teaspoons of sugar in my tea and it should be sorted!” WRONG! The dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar have been proven to be the cause of numerous complications from Diabetes.
High blood sugar levels cause damage to large and small blood vessels as well as nerves. We all know of an elderly member of the family who had to have their toe/foot/leg removed due to diabetes …. Why risk
losing a limb when screening is quick and easy. In diabetes, the poor sugar control impacts on circulation especially in hands and feet – it also causes decreased sensation in these limbs. Due to this, we often strongly advise diabetics to regularly examine their feet. They may have injured themselves and not been aware of this. Eventually an open wound develops. The high sugar in the blood provides a good medium for bacteria to grow, causing overwhelming infection or even gangrene. All open injuries in diabetics take a longer period to heal putting them at high risk of developing complications.
With nerve damage, not only is there decreasing sensation but also abnormal functioning of the nerve itself causing severe burning or tingling in the feet. This can be excruciating and often wakes the person from sleeping.
Management can be difficult and complicated – it involves numerous individuals including a podiatrist, dietician, endocrinologist and regrettably, a surgeon.
Why wait to complicate?
Take control NOW!
Umhlanga Cardiovascular Perfusionist, Dr Rakesh Mohanlall has overcome many challenges and adversities in his career but through his passion and perseverance to succeed he is now an expert in the field of non-invasive cardiac diagnosis and treatment. Dr Mohanlall houses the only non-invasive diagnostic devise in Africa that is used for early detection and management of coronary artery disease and he has pioneered and established the only External Conterpulsation (ECP) centre in South Africa that is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and accredited as a satellite training unit .
Dr Rakesh Mohanlall is a Clinical Technologist, specializing in cardiovascular perfusion and holds 19 years of experience in his field. He was part of the heart bypass team in South Africa before he went abroad to Saudi Arabia and headed the perfusion department. There he was involved in various research and studies with international cardiologists and surgeons where he gained a vast array of knowledge on the latest techniques of cardiac rehabilitation. He completed his masters research through DUT and became the first perfusionist to attain a doctorate in this field after his masters was converted.
He returned to South Africa in 2008 and after having been a part of the bypass team for many years and witnessing the difficulties that cardiac patients experienced, he explored alternate non-invasive treatments that could benefit patients and give them a better quality of life. After extensive research and training, in 2010 together with a team made up of clinical technologists, a cardiothoracic surgeon, a hospital manager and renal physician, he opened the doors to ECP.
ECP is commonly known as a 'Natural Heart Bypass' and is a treatment for patients suffering from coronary artery disease and heart failure. It is FDA indicated for Angina; Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack); Congestive heart failure and Cardiogenic shock. The treatment results in the improvement of blood circulation by opening dormant arteries around the heart and thus reducing workload on the heart and symptoms of tiredness, chest pains, shortness of breath and exercise intolerance. A typical course of ECP is 35 one-hour treatments, done Monday to Friday. Clinical studies have shown that most patients treated with a single course of ECP experience a reduction in angina and are able to return to an active lifestyle.
Commenting on his journey to establish ECP in South Africa Dr Mohanlall said, "ECP has given cardiac patients a welcomed relief to their pains and sufferings. Like with anything else, bringing something new into the country and getting people to appreciate it was a difficult task. Although ECP has been practised throughout the world for decades, it was still unheard of in South Africa. It has taken us 27 to bring ECP to South Africa years, after Professor Zheng had perfected the treatment. Nevertheless my team and I have worked hard on this project and persevered with it. We now have also managed to successfully get over 25 medical aid schemes that pay for ECP only under my practice." adds Dr Mohanlall
Commenting further on the introduction of the 3 Dimensional Vasculography (3DVG) diagnostic device Dr Mohanlall said, "Two years after starting ECP, I realized that we still needed a reliable diagnostic assessment that would provide sufficient information on a patient in order to get the best outcomes. After thorough research and training abroad, I landed the device in Africa. "
The 3DVG assessment covers the kidney, lung and cardiac function in a 23 page report. It can measure a patient’s risk factors of having a heart attack. It shows 3 dimensional pictures of the heart and measures coronary artery blood flow in the heart. It measures up to 64 different parameters in the body and it is the only non-invasive diagnostic assessment tool available in the world that can establish early detection of coronary artery disease, even before symptoms present.
"We have now completed this diagnostic on hundreds of patients, many of whom were unable to get a diagnosis on existing diagnostics even though they were symptomatic. The 3DVG assessment has brought us patients from various parts of the globe and we have had the pleasure of even treating diplomats from outside South Africa," says Dr Mohanlall.
Earlier this year Dr Mohanlall had the honour of presenting as an international guest speaker at the 25th Saudi Heart Association on ECP and 3DVG where his presentations were well received. He is now working in collaboration with a cardiac team in Saudi Arabia to establish ECP and 3DVG there. The presentations can be viewed on our website: www.counterpusation.co.za
On commenting on some of his success stories with his patients Dr Mohanlall said, " My first ECP patient was a post bypass 65 year old gentleman who was in cardiac failure and not suitable for further intervention. He experienced shortness of breath and chest pain when walking even a short distance. Four years later he is still leading an active lifestyle and can walk 2km a day."
"My second patient who is now 72 years was advised by his doctors that he would be lucky if he lived to see the next 6 months. He was a post bypass patient in cardiac failure and bedridden at the time that I took over his treatment regimen. After ECP he experienced no more chest pains and could walk up to 6 km in a day. Recently he was admitted in cardiac ICU with difficulty in breathing which led to him being resuscitated for more than 30 minutes by the ICU team without success. I then took over the management of the resuscitation and revived the patient with no neurological damage. The cardiologist said that it was the 'most astounding resuscitation they had ever seen' and could not understand how I revived the patient after going against textbook protocol. He was amazed at the quick recovery of the patient who walked out of the hospital a few days later."
Another patient that I managed to save was a 48 year old female who complicated after she was taken in for an angiogram. She went into cardiac failure and her leg needed to be amputated due to complications. Her family requested for me to do the 3DVG test on her and using the results I advised that she was not in heart failure due to coronary artery disease but due to vascular shut down and that she would be able to undergo surgery to remove the clots in her legs rather than amputating. She was treated accordingly and walked out of hospital a few days later." More success stories and patient testimonials can be viewed on the website: www.counterpulsation.co.za
In concluding Dr Mohanlall said, "I was only able to assist these patients due my experience of having been part of the bypass team in South Africa and abroad as well as the abundance of information that the 3DVG assessment can provide and the experience I gained in performing the thousands of hours of ECP on patients. I have now come to a realization that ECP should be considered first in many patients before invasive interventional procedures in order to ensure the greatest success with the least pain and suffering rather than a patient going through all the invasive procedures and still coming back to perform ECP to get relief from their symptoms.”
Dr Mohanlall also noted that he owes his success in life to GOD as well as the support of his family, friends and wife Nishara, who is his pillar of strength. Dr Mohanlall and Nishara have two children Arya and Rikaar who are their greatest joys in life.
Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively. When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect. Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.
Here are some ways to get rid of negativity and become more positive.
Become grateful–for everything
When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants. This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negativity. People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”–they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation.
People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.
When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives–from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day–we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships. We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for, because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving, instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling, and more positive.
Laugh more–especially at yourself
Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative and performance oriented thinking. Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live–why not lighten up your mood?
Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play. If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy. And finding happiness means finding positivity.
Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to a long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one. Positivity accompanies purpose.
The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small; open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours. Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity. And people might just appreciate you in the process.
Change your thinking
We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self talk is corrosive to a positive life.
The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test–I suck.” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test. But I know I’m capable and I’ll do better next time.” Changing our self-talk is powerful.
Surround yourself with positive people
We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior. As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response; change is scary. But cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives onto one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.
Get into action
Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress and more freak-outs. Turn the negative stress into positive action. The next time you’re in one of these situations, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and pad of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem. Taking yourself out of the emotionally charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity