Blog Archive

Sweeping Statements - Annoying, Irritating and Insulting

by Junaid.Tahir

Sweeping statement is the term used when you give conclusive or decisive comment about  something or someone. You may not know but you give sweeping statements several times a day and if you don't mind let me say that most of the time you are wrong J 

You might have said to your colleagues that this manager has no sense of management whereas if someone asks you to give a ten minutes non-stop lecture on management, you may not be able to deliver it because you too may not have real in depth knowledge of the domain. So, instead of saying "no sense of management" you could more precisely say that you don't agree to "this particular aspect of management" of that person and then elaborate your observations. The later approach in this example is not a sweeping statement instead it is a specific focal point of your point of view. 

If you are in habit of giving sweeping statements, you may, at some point in time spoil your relationship with someone permanently especially when you give sweeping statement to the person face to face by annoying and irritating severely. Because when you give sweeping statement you are missing a whole lot of detailed aspects of the subject and may emotionally kill the person.

Also when you give sweeping statement it's not about them only, it's about you as well because it indicates the fact that you are not careful in your thinking. Which means you have a zoom-out attitude when it comes to observing people whereas zoom-in (high level) and zoom-out (detailed micro level) approaches are required to be used according to the situation.

Some other examples of sweeping (sometimes insulting) statements:
1- A man argues with his house wife "what exactly you do at home all day long?"  (in Urdu, tum sara din kerti kia ho aakhir?)
2- This whole nation or country is arrogant/corrupt. 
3- Mom to her child "you never do good work" (Urdu: Tum nay to kabhi koee acha kaam kia hi nahi")
4- when you say to your colleague, "you have no idea about it, so leave it to me"

So the bottom line is that instead of being judgmental and passing the remarks instantly one must strive to understand things fairly prior to giving remarks and then use appropriate words and an effective way of communication to describe ones stance in order to improve the situation, not in order to harm it by any mean.

Some associated articles:

About Author: Junaid Tahir, a Project Manager and a passionate blogger writes articles on wisdom, stress management, leadership and life enhancement subjects. His articles can be read Here

Islamic Article: Cleaning the Inner You

By Junaid Tahir

While reading a book about raising kids I started making the list of unethical behavioural demonstrations which the children should be taught about and prevented right from their childhood. Later I thought that it's not only kids who are required to be taught such teachings but the adults too are essentially required to clean their mental engines which are having a lot of garbage and was never cleaned since ages.

My friend, it's very logical that you take home cleaning matter very seriously. You clean the cupboards, home corners, lounge, kitchens and drawers with a lot of attention and care so that no dust or impurities are left which might cause health issues or cause you disrespect in front of your guests however you don't care about cleaning your inner selves.  As a matter of fact you can rely on others to clean your home but you cannot depend on others to cleanse you. Its only you, yes only you who can clean the garbage in your brain, heart and soul.  

Well, after I made my list, I started searching for the baseline definitions and advices against each immoral act and I was able to compile the below table.
By the way, a very important thing I noticed that most of the behaviours like anger, back biting, bad mouthing, brawls, cursing, lying and calling by names happen because people do not have strong control on what they speak hence let me say that tongue is the king because it is responsible for your outlook no matter how good you are at heart.  A lot of problems and complications can be avoided only if people start thinking on what to speak, where to speak and how to speak. Anyways, below is the list and the details I compiled:

Allah's Apostle Peace Be Upon Him said, "The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger."
Words once spoken cannot be taken back. Anger causes Long term impact on relationships. When you are in anger, your tongue works faster than brain which puts you on high risk of doing mistakes. This is why Islam forbids anger.
back Biting
"…nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it…" (Surah Hujurat 49: 12)"
When you back bite you are on the risk of spreading false information and eventually you would be in bad books of others. The bad words spoken have a ripple effect because they will get spreaded in society very quickly hence the respect of a person gets converted to insult which is very big sin.
Bad mouthing
Risk of losing respect and friends. People would prefer not to talk to you and would stay away from you. Read this story
A heinous ethical crime whether the object is your kids or any other society member. Read this story
The Prophet said, "The most hated person in the sight of Allah is the most quarrelsome person." Volume 3, Book 43, Number 637  (Bukhari)
The Prophet (peace be on him) said, "Allah's curse is on the one who offers the bribe and on the judge who accepts it." (Reported by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih.)
Calling by Names
"and do not defame one another by using bad names. How bad it is after having true faith that a person (does these acts) but does not turn in repentance (to Allah) so then surely it is these people who are the oppressors"
The Prophet said, "All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards. The ruler is a guardian and the man is a guardian of his family; the lady is a guardian and is responsible for her husband's house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards." Volume 7, Book 62, Number 128 Bukhari
I heard the Prophet saying, "Shall I tell you of the people of Paradise? They comprise every poor humble person, and if he swears by Allah to do something, Allah will fulfill it; while the people of the fire comprise every violent, cruel arrogant person." Volume 8, Book 78, Number 651 Bukhari
The Prophet was not one who would abuse (others) or say obscene words, or curse (others), and if he wanted to admonish anyone of us, he used to say: "What is wrong with him, his forehead be dusted!" Volume 8, Book 73, Number 58
 "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301 Bukhari
"Allah has hated for you three things: 1. Vain talks, (useless talk) that you talk too much or about others. 2. Wasting of wealth (by extravagance) 3. And asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters) or asking others for something (except in great need). Volume 2, Book 24, Number 555 Bukhari
"Whoever swears saying in his oath. 'By Al-Lat and Al'Uzza,' should say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah; and whoever says to his friend, 'Come, let me gamble with you,' should give something in charity."
Volume 8, Book 78, Number 645 Bukhari
"Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not look for the others' faults and do not spy, and do not be Jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; and O Allah's worshipers! Be brothers (as Allah has ordered you!") - Volume 8, Book 73, Number 90 Bukhari
Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, 'O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your Cause,' and the other (angel) says, 'O Allah! Destroy every miser.' " Volume 2, Book 24, Number 522 Bukhari
Allah's Apostle said, 'Beware of suspicion, for it is the worst of false tales and don't look for the other's faults and don't spy and don't hate each other, and don't desert (cut your relations with) one another O Allah's slaves, be brothers!" Volume 8, Book 80, Number 717 Bukhari
"Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not look for the others' faults and do not spy, and do not be Jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; and O Allah's worshipers! Be brothers (as Allah has ordered you!") - Volume 8, Book 73, Number 90 Bukhari
Telling Lies
The Prophet said, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." Volume 8, Book 73, Number 116 Bukhari

Once again, I urge all of the readers to have solid control on your tongue and apply Socrates principal for all their communication needs.

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Story: The missing watch

There once was a farmer who discovered that he had lost his watch in the
barn. It was no ordinary watch because it had sentimental value for him.
After searching high and low among the hay for a long while; he gave up and
enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn.

He promised them that the person who found it would be rewarded.

Hearing this, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around
the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the
farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, a little boy went up to
him and asked to be given another chance.

The farmer looked at him and thought, "Why not? After all, this kid looks
sincere enough."

So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn. After a while the little
boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and
surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had

The boy replied, "I did nothing but sit on the ground and listen. In the
silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that
Moral: A peaceful mind can think better than a worked up mind.
Allow a few minutes of silence to your mind every day, and see, how sharply
it helps you to set your life the way you expect it to be...!

M Junaid Tahir
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You Are The Results Of Yourself

Don't blame anyone, never complain of anyone or anything
Because basically you have made of your life what you wanted.
Accept the difficulties of edifying yourself
And the worth of starting to correct your character.
The triumph of the true man arises from the ashes of his mistakes.
Never complain of your loneliness or your luck.
Face it with courage and accept it.
Somehow, they are the result of your acts and
It shows that you'll always win.
Don't feel frustrated of your own failures, neither unload them to someone else.

Accept yourself now or you'll go on justifying yourself like a child.
Remember that any time is good to start
And that no time is so good to give up.
Don't forget that the cause of your present is your past,
As the cause of your future will be your present.
Learn from the brave, from the strong,
From who doesn't accept situations
From who will live in spite of everything.
Think less of your problems and more of your work.
Learn to arise from your pain,
And to be greater than the greatest of your obstacles.
Look at the mirror of yourself and you'll be free and strong
And you'll stop being a puppet of circumstances.
For you yourself are your destiny.
Wake up and stare at the Sun in the mornings and breathe the Sun of dawn.
You're part of the strength of your life now,
Rise up, fight, walk, be sure and you'll win in life.
Don't ever think of 'fate'
For fate is the excuse of failures.
Best of Luck

  ....Pablo Neruda 

M Junaid 
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Accept yourself here and now

If there is truly nothing that you can do to change your circumstances here and now, and you can't remove yourself from the situation, then accept your self here and now totally by dropping all inner resistance. The false, unhappy self that loves feeling miserable, resentful, or sorry for itself can then no longer survive. This is called surrender. Surrender is not weakness. There is great strength in it. Only a surrendered person has spiritual power.
This sounds pessimist but the fact is that you must audit yourself fairly that whether you can do something to change your circumstances or not. If yes, what actions need to be taken? and how you plan to execute. If not then be friends with your problems and learn to live with them till you find the solution to your problems.

Frustration and Annoyance

There is nothing that makes you frustrated. 
Any frustration you experience is the result of
your own choice to react with frustration.

There is nothing that makes you annoyed.
Any annoyance you experience comes about because
you have decided to be annoyed.

You can choose to be annoyed,
frustrated, angry, and spiteful.
You can also choose not to be.

Imagine how effective you could be if there was nothing that annoyed you.
That level of effectiveness is yours to choose, right here, right now.

All sorts of things will happen in your world today.
You can let them get to you, and annoy and frustrate you,
or you can choose to follow your own path.

You have the power to be free of frustration, free of annoyance,
free to accomplish and enjoy life. Choose that freedom today.

~Ralph Marston~
M Junaid Tahir 
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Being Proactive

By Junaid Tahir:
In simple words, Proactive Approach is to plan and align things in advance by foreseeing future risks, problems or challenges.
Having said that, there are three kind of people on earth. Category-1 is those who strategize things as they have the visualization to portray the future. So they organize things in advance in order to avoid any possible set back. I call these people as 'Organizers'. Category-2 is those people who have the reactive methodology to handle things. That means whenever a situation arises they react accordingly. I call these people as 'Reactors'. Although there can be good Reactors but the majority of them are bad Reactors since most of the situations do not give them the luxury of taking a U-Turn for going back to neutral to start again. Category-3 is Commoners. These people do not have control on their lives. They are the product of their circumstances. They automatically flow with the wind; no matter where the wind takes them to. Of course, the first category is the best one as they have a proactive approach to life. So coming back to the track to understand the concept of pro-activeness in more details. Here are some points:

1.     Proactiveness is the vision and ability to align the tasks well in advance to avoid mishaps.
2.    Proactiveness is to foresee the possible problems and work on the contingencies in parallel with the master plan. It is strongly recommended to execute your contingencies before they execute themselves at the required time, because you never know whether your contingency plan is going to be successful or not. Hence be sure about it by testing the contingency in advance specially when the risk factor is high.
3.    Proactive people have the analytical skills to understand any situation in detail so that they can see low level risks and plan accordingly. (You may want to review my article on analytical skills here.

Considering a Tree analogy, I would refer 'The Organizers' as 'The Roots', 'The Reactors' as 'The Branches' and 'The Commoners' as 'The leaves'. Always remember the fact that when the wind blows, its leaves which are impacted at first place. So its Leaf's responsibility to stick to the Tree if they need to live. For Tree, it does not matter if any of the leaf is broken due to strong wind (circumstances).  Which category you belong to? 
M Junaid Tahir 
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Do not panic unnecessarily:

People panic about practically everything—missed deadlines, orders not received, comments by others, fear of mistakes, negative trends. You name it and someone has panicked about it. Yet I've never seen even a single instance where the panic actually helped to solve the problem. Instead, panic is neutral at best and greatly interferes at worst. Panic tends to bring out the worst in everyone. It makes others (and you) feel tense and fearful. It increases the likelihood of mistakes, missed opportunities and mis
Nothing interferes with the creation of success and abundance like panic. When you make the commitment to stop panicking, you'll notice some incredible things happening. First, you'll notice that a vast majority of what you are most worried about will never happen, or it won't be as bad as you first thought. It was Benjamin Franklin who said, "Some terrible things happened in my lifetime – a few of which actually happened."
By avoiding the panic, you won't waste time, anxiety, and energy trying to solve what probably doesn't need solving. Second, when you learn to keep your bearings, your wisdom will come forth. In the absence of worry, answers will emerge. Instead of a head full of concerns, you'll create a head full of solutions. Finally, when you stay calm, you really do bring out the best in others. Many people react to the feelings of others. If you can maintain your bearings, chances are the people you work with will too.
To bring forth your greatest potential, eliminate panic altogether from your thinking..

Artilce by K.N.RAJAN
M Junaid Tahir 
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Lesson on Problem Solving

A Mother was reading a magazine and her cute little daughter every now and then distracted her. To keep her busy, she tore one page on which was printed the map of the world. She tore it into pieces and asked her to go to her room and put them together to make the map again.
She was sure her daughter would take a lot more time and probably whole of day to get it done. But the little one came back within minutes with perfect map.

When she asked how she could do it so quickly, she said,
"Oh Mom, there is a man's face on the other side of the paper. I made the face perfect to get the map right." she ran outside to play leaving the mother surprised.

Flash : Perhaps there is always the other side to whatever you experience in this world. So whenever you come across a challenge or a puzzling situation, Look at the other side & you will be surprised to see an easy way to tackle the problem or an acute difficulty.

M Junaid Tahir 
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Admit your mistakes and errors

**One reason Hitler lost World War II was that he did not fully understand
the situation. Bearers of bad news were punished. Soon no one dared tell him
the truth. Not knowing the truth, he could not act appropriately.

Many of us are individually guilty of the same error. We do not like to
admit to ourselves our mistakes, errors, shortcomings, or ever admit we have
been in the wrong. And because we will not see the truth, we cannot act

Someone has said that it is a good exercise to daily admit one painful fact
about ourselves to ourselves.

Look for and seek out true information concerning yourself, your problems,
other people, or situation, whether it is good news or bad news.

Adopt the motto – "It doesn't matter who's right, but what's right."

Admit your mistakes and errors but don't cry over them. Correct them and go
forward. In dealing with other people try to see the situation from their
point of view as well as your own. *

M Junaid Tahir
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Excel: Creating A Thermometer Style Chart

Most people are familiar with "thermometer"-style graphs, which show the percentage of a project completed. It's easy to make such a display in Excel. The key is to create a chart that uses a single cell (containing a percentage value) as a data series.

The example below tracks daily progress toward a goal: 1000 new customers in a 15-day period.

Cell B18 contains the goal value. Cell B19 contains a simple sum formula:


Cell B21 contains the following formula, which calculates the percentage of the goal attained


As new data is entered in column B, the formulas display the current results.

To create the chart:

Enter the formulas listed above, along with the worksheet's sample data.

Select cell B21, and click the Chart Wizard button. Notice the blank row preceding cell B21. If you fail to include this blank row, Excel will use the entire data block--not just the single cell--to construct the chart. Since B21 is isolated from the other data, the Chart Wizard uses only the single cell.

In step 1 of the Chart Wizard dialog, specify a Column chart and a Clustered Column subtype (the first choice).

Click Next twice, and then in step 2 make additional adjustments: Add a Chart Title (Title tab), dump the Category (x) axis (Axes tab), delete the legend (Legend tab), and specify Show value (Data Labels tab). Click Finish to view the chart.

Double-click the column to display the Format Data Series dialog box.

Click the Options tab, and set the Gap width to 0 (this setting instructs the column to occupy the entire width of the plot area).

To change the pattern used in the column, click the Patterns tab and make your selection. The example shown here uses a gradient fill effect.

Double-click the vertical axis to bring up the Format Axis dialog. In the Scale tab of the Format Axis dialog, set Minimum to 0 and Maximum to 1


M Junaid Tahir
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Secretly unhappy in the success of others?

Let's be honest here.
Have you ever found yourself secretly wishing someone else would fail? I don't mean you wish them any serious bad luck, only that they don't become more successful than you?
Sometimes it's hard to wish others well, particularly those you know well – friends, colleagues, neighbors, family members. It's hard to see a colleague get the promotion you worked so hard for. It's difficult to see your friend on television, or your neighbor able to purchase a new car. We're human; we get jealous.
While it can be seductive, or at least habitual, to secretly desire to keep others at your level, it's absolutely not in your best interest. The way to rise to the top is to wish everyone well, to hope with all your heart that everyone can expand to their greatest potential, to wish that the people you know, and those whom you don't know, can all realize their dreams and achieve greatness.
When you wish someone well, it creates a momentum within you, an inner environment of success. It reminds your spirit of your loving and deserving nature. It creates the atmosphere within you to help you succeed and create abundance. When you delight in the success of others, it's as if you are sprinkling the seeds for a garden of success.
As you wish others well, notice how good it feels. When your wishes are sincere, they will serve as a reminder that giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin.
Truly, it feels as good to see someone else succeed as it does to succeed yourself. Start delighting in the success of others and watch your own level of greatness soar!

M Junaid Tahir
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