Articles

THE FLYING DOLLAR!

What a leap it is! Hi everyone, this is me, The  Strong USA Dollar, which has taken the huge plunge to an interbank rate of 210.3 Pakistani rupees till the writing of this article. The curious minds worldwide are scratching their scalps hard to find out whether the plunge will be higher in the coming days than the current one or not? Well, fingers are crossed till new updates.

 

With the economic crisis ongoing in South Asian countries like Sri Lanka, the odds don’t seem to be in favour this time. The impacts will be hard and harsh for many struggling economies worldwide. The poor ones would surely be going to hit rock bottom.

 

Well, I was very much stable till February 2022. But, then the unfortunate war in Ukraine filled the world stage with many uncertainties. With the political ground heated up, I was also dragged along. As the two greatest powers brought their differences to the forefront, many struggling economies went down the deep well of the ensuing economic crisis—the most affected in South Asia.

 

Inflation became rampant in countries like Pakistan and India. Foreign currency exchanges started to dwindle. Unemployment ensued. The governments began making the harshest decisions to save their respective economies from falling headlong. Take the example of Pakistan, where petrol prices were raised three times consecutively within a month. Well, I am sorry for that; that is how it works. Right?

 

International Monetary Fund, famously known as IMF, is my guardian angel. It tries to save the countries facing financial issues by providing them with easy and pleasant bailouts, but not without imposing the interest rate. It has saved many countries multiple times from falling. Who can forget the famous “2010 bailout package.” In short, IMF helps me keep my steady flight.

 

Moreover, I expect the loaning countries to take strict austerity measures to keep pace with my worth. For that purpose, they have to make very tough decisions. Say, for example, raise the price of everyday commodities like electricity. That is the reason people hate me for my worth. I am the boss here!

 

Moreover, many are asking whether I would remain like this in future also. Well, I am too uncertain right now. My current exchange rate against the rupee is approximate 212.26. It is going to depend on the world economic powers. If they could live peacefully, I’ll not bother any economy. But if they prefer war and chaos, the result is in front of the world. I’ll try to fly as high as possible so that no one would dare involve me in this mess. I am too tired now!

 

Overall, if asked about my personal opinion, I am a staunch opponent of any instability and uncertainty. I support soft exchanges among the world economies. I request the world powers to behave! Let the poor rupee find some peace. It is so tired of chasing me. Let us be friends and live amicably.

 

I wouldn’t say I like goodbyes because I love to remain alive in the news. Don’t forget me then. Goodbye for now! We will meet in new bailout news soon!

BEAT THE SCORCHING SUMMER HEAT!

“It doesn’t matter whether we are at home or getting ready for work. Light is always unavailable”, said a resident of Karachi. The summers in Pakistan have been hot as hell for the last many years. Frequent load shedding adds fuel to the fire! Be it day or night, life is miserable.
Meanwhile, the situation is not much different throughout the world. Various countries are documenting hot temperatures as high as 50oC. Hot, humid winds are burning people alive. Humans, animals, and birds are all equally affected.
People throughout the country are staging protests to record their abysmal status. It’s burning hot weather. In addition, no light means there would be no running water. Resultantly, the country has witnessed many deaths due to heat waves.
In such worst scenarios, the human mind works to find a solution. It is natural to look for some ways to survive. Following are some ways that can prove helpful:
  • Prefer to wear light shade clothing rather than dark shades. Dark colors like black, purple, and red absorb sunlight. This would result in feeling too much heat.
  • Better to wear loose, comfortable dresses. Say no to tight jeans and other such clothing.
  • Take cold showers twice a day! As the scorching heat warms the water inside a water tank, keeping water in a pail covered for a few hours is better to lower the temperature.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. Avoid stepping out unnecessarily.
    No going out when the sun is at its highest! It is better to schedule going out between 7am- 10 am when it is mildly hot. Beware of being out during the peak hours between 11am -3pm.
  • Make it mandatory to wear sunglasses. High UV light damages the eyes badly.
  • Sunscreen application to protect the skin is a necessary ritual to perform every day before leaving outside.
  • Drink a lot of water and fresh juices. Keep oneself well hydrated. It would be preferable to keep a water bottle with you.
  • Keep the house well ventilated. Westward windows bring in colder wind and keep the house bearable.
  • Use minimum lights at home. Switch off the excess ones! Electrical appliances release heat which adds hotness to the environment.
  • Use mild-colored, cotton-made curtains over the windows. Avoid fancy, shiny material.
  • If possible, grow a rooftop garden. The plantation would keep the lower stories cool enough to spend the hotter hours of the day.
  • I feel slight discomfort. Contact the doctor. If a doctor is unreachable, try to be in an open, airy space. Wash face, hands, and feet with water. Pour water over the head.
  • Water is a necessity to beat the heat. Unfortunately, water resources are becoming scarce due to human mishandling. Stop using fresh water for unnecessary domestic purposes like car-washing, floor- cleaning, and others. Use the AC water for such purposes.
  • Plant more trees! The fresh, soothing natural air would help reduce the temperatures.

PASSING THE HARD TIMES!

Pakistan is a developing country. Ever since its existence, the government has faced many challenges. From a fragile economy to a dwindling democracy, some problems are a constant. However, despite all the challenges, the nation never fails to pass through them. Once again, issues and challenges are here. Inflation is the latest giant! 

This time the country seems to be struggling with a prevalent hard time. Petrol, diesel, oil, electricity, groceries; every commodity’s price is upward. Every class struggles to cope, but the lower-middle type is the hardest hit. 

Such hard times need innovative thinking. It is pronounced that the problems and challenges will always be here. The nation has to show creative thinking and regular patience, and persistence to pass these times. As rightly said: “Sweet are the fruits of adversity.”

Following are a few intelligent expenditure hacks which could be used to save the day. Though, some readers might find them impossible or somewhat unnecessary. No doubt, they can prove to be the real saviors. Give it a try and rise from these times like a phoenix!

1:  LOWER THE BILLS

Food, shelter, and clothing are the basic necessities of life. Given today’s times, their prices are going up every other day. However, a few bright and easy steps would prove helpful in lowering the bills. They are as under:

  • Always keep the unnecessary lights switched off.
  • Don’t use electrical appliances like AC, iron, washing machine, or water motors during the peak hours of the day.
  • Keep the house well ventilated. Open the windows in the morning and evening to allow fresh air. This will cool the home to a greater extent and also prove helpful in reducing too much use of air conditioners.
  • Try to use a single room with air conditioning to sleep at night. This would help to avoid the use of too many air conditioners simultaneously.
  • Instead of using separate televisions in rooms, use one in the lounge.
  • Use more LED lights.   

 

2: DO SMART SHOPPING

To live without shopping nowadays is impossible. It is also a necessary everyday ritual to do. Meanwhile, a few intelligent steps could prove helpful:

  • Make a list for monthly grocery shopping. This would help purchase only the required items and prevent distraction as malls are full of unnecessary colorful things.
  • Buy fresh vegetables and fruits daily. This would help, as the excess gets rotten and is wasted due to frequent load shedding and hot weather
  • If possible, grow your own vegetables and fruits. There are many online tutorials to grow organic food at home gardens. This would prove helpful in reducing food-related expenses.
  • Fashion is evolving every other day. For clothing, avoid being distracted by online sales. Buy clothes, shoes, and accessories when needed. it is better to first use the clothes that are already available.
  • Along with expensive brand shopping, do give a chance to less expensive local brands.

 

3: USE RENEWABLE ENERGY 

Greener and cleaner energy is a recent initiative gaining popularity. Give it a try!

  • Instead of using petrol-run generators, go for solar panels. Though many might question the expenses of buying solar panels, the outcome would be fruitful. In frequent power outages, the idea is less expensive and suitable.

 

4: WALK MORE 

The medical world always supports the idea of a stroll for healthy living. This would also help to overcome inflation!

  • Instead of using cars and other transport, walk if your destination is not far from home or office.
  • If the distance is more and more than one vehicles are available in a single household, try to manage using only one. This might curtail the expenses of petrol.

 

5: ADOPT HEALTHY LIVING 

Health is wealth, as it is rightly said. But a few healthy tips might also help to reduce the expenses. Continue reading to know-how!

  • Everyone loves restaurant food. However, don’t make it a habit to eat in restaurants frequently. Try to have food just once or twice a month at your favorite restaurants. It is a healthy practice plus money-saving!
  • Avoid junk food. Nowadays, junk food is so popular that there are stalls at every nook and cranny. Burgers, pizza, and soft drinks are harmful to health. Don’t make eating them a habit! 

               Hope reading this will prove helpful. Stay happy, and don’t forget to smile in these challenging times!

 

Who’s The Boss 10 Ways To Start Taking Control

Positive thinking and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) appear to have nothing to do with one another at first appearance. However, many of us with ADD acquire negative thought habits due to our frustrations and frequent feelings of overwhelm. This pessimistic view makes it even more difficult for us to deal with the problems and move on.

Positive thinking encourages persons with ADD to concentrate on their strengths and accomplishments, increasing satisfaction and motivation. As a result, we will have more free time. Progressing and less time feeling depressed and trapped. The following strategies are realistic and can be used to help you transition into more optimistic thought patterns:

 

1: Take Care of Yourself First

It’s simpler to stay cheerful when you eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep.

2: Remind yourself of what you’re thankful for?

Stress and obstacles don’t seem as unpleasant when you’ve continually reminded yourself of the good things in life. It will make a significant impact if you take only 60 seconds a day to appreciate the good things in your life.

 

3: Instead of making assumptions, look for proof.

Fear of not being liked or accepted might drive us to believe that we know what other people think, although this rarely happens. If you suspect a friend or family member’s low mood is caused by something,

 

4: Avoid using absolutes as much as possible.

Have you ever said to your partner, “You’re always late!” or to a friend, “You never call me!”? Absolutes like ‘always’ and ‘never’ make the issue appear worse, and they train your brain to believe that certain people are incapable of delivering.

 

5: Separate yourself from negative thoughts

If you don’t evaluate your thoughts, they won’t influence you. If you catch yourself thinking something terrible, detach from it, observe it, and don’t follow it.

 

6:  Squash the “ANTs” In his book

“Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” he explains how to “squash the ANTs.” “ANTs” – Automatic Negative Thoughts – are discussed by Dr. Daniel Amen. These are the negative thoughts that are frequently reactionary, such as “Those folks are laughing, they’re laughing, they’re laughing.

 

7:  Work on your lovin’, touching, and squeezin’ skills (Your Friends and Family)

You don’t need to be an expert to recognize the advantages of a friendly embrace. Positive physical contact with friends, family, and even pets is a natural mood booster. In one experiment, a waitress touched the arm of some of her customers as she delivered them their checks. These clients gave her more money in tips than those she didn’t feel!

 

8: Boost Your Social Activities

Loneliness is reduced by increased social activities. If you surround yourself with healthy, happy individuals, their tremendous energy will rub off on you!

 

9: Help another person or volunteer for an organization.

Everyone feels happy after assisting others. You can provide your time, money, or resources as a volunteer. You will receive more positive energy if you put out more positive energy into the globe.

 

10: To combat rumination, use pattern interrupts.

If you find yourself ruminating, interrupting the pattern and forcing yourself to do something completely different is a terrific quitting method. Rumination is the act of focusing excessively on something undesirable. It’s never productive because it’s not logical or solution-oriented; it’s just a lot of stress. Go for a walk or sit outside to change your physical environment. You may also make a phone call, read a book, or listen to music.

 

When it comes to the business world, etiquette is almost a religion. Knowing what needs to be done is the foundation of productivity, but interaction and maintaining a steady mind round out the package. Some appear to function well under duress, but they are the exception, and we are all human and fallible. Getting under our skin over minor issues such as stress will not fix our problems. It takes more courage to accept that we’re becoming workaholics than it does to tell ourselves that we’re not doing our best.

 

LET’S COUNTER THE CLIMATE CHANGE!

“We are using resources as if we have two planets, not one. There can be no ‘plan B’ because there is no ‘planet B’, said former UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon. Mother Earth is burning. People are dying, wildlife is extinct, and forests are razed over. What is all this? This is climate change. For many years, the planet Earth has been going through a lot. Resultantly, it is losing its natural beauty. Be it natural or man-made, all the causes are equally responsible for growing changes in climate worldwide.

Nevertheless, it is never too late to act! Some ways offer plenty of room to negotiate the climate changes. It is high time for the entire world to come together and save the planet for better future generations. The words of Francis Holland remind us to be alert, “We have a single mission to protect and hand on the planet to the next generation.” Act smart and save the globe! As it is rightly said, “Call it global warming or climate change, both are the same.”

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) defines climate change as: “A change in climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity, that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable period of time.”

The effects of changing climate are manifesting in the following ways:
First, the famous ‘Paris Agreement’ pledged to restrict the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, given the recent heat waves, with temperatures soaring to 50o C in many countries, the world has failed the planet. According to a May 2022 report by World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the temperatures will rise from 2022-to 2026 to 1.1oC and 1.7 o C than the preindustrial levels. This is quite an alarming situation!

Second, according to World Wildlife Organization, 95% of the Arctic ice has already melted with the growing pace at which glaciers are melting. The melting of glaciers raises sea levels and leads to ocean warming. This results in frequent flooding and intense storms occurring frequently. The hardest hit by this scenario are the communities living in coastal countries. One can forget the powerful Tsunami which wreaked havoc in Indonesia alone!

Third, natural calamities such as heavy floods, snowfalls, wildfires, heat waves, avalanches, storms, and droughts have become everyday phenomena. In Muree, Pakistan, the deadly snowfall forced people to remain stranded in their cars overnight and choke to death. Floods in northern areas of Pakistan have become a yearly event razing households and vital infrastructure. California wildfire burned everything that came in its way, including wildlife, flora and fauna. Heat waves in Asia and Europe are frequent, with temperatures soaring to 50o C, burning people alive.

Fourth, climate change has affected the natural ecosystems and biodiversity the most. Wildlife is a brutal hit looking for ways to adapt to climate change. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, 47% of different animal species have lost their population to changing climate conditions. American Pika, a specie habitual of cold conditions, is going extinct from their habitat in Californian mountains. Polar bears going extinct due to rapidly melting glaciers. 90% of Coral reefs are in danger, including the world’s largest, The Great Barrier Reef.

There is a famous saying, “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” This makes it quite evident that we humans bore significant responsibility for the causes of climate change.

Coal power plants:

Being a cheap source, coal is the top choice of many countries, including the USA, China and India, to produce electricity. When coal burns, it releases carbon, which after mixing with oxygen, has carbon dioxide. As CO2 is a heat-trapping gas, it forms a blanket around the Earth and warms it to an unbearable level. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many power plants lack pollution control systems to reduce coal pollution. The Union of Concerned Scientists of America urges the governments to curb the use of cheap but deadly coal and implement sustainable development goals with complete sincerity.

Deforestation:

Trees are the soul of the planet. They are a source of oxygen to survive. According to a report published by the scientists of California University, tropical forests can store about 200 petagrams of carbon. However, deforestation over the last many decades results in the release of around 1 petagram of carbon every year. The pace at which trees are razed over by mafias in many countries is of great concern. As per Brazil’s National Space Research Institute reports, the cutting of trees in the Amazon forest nearly doubled in the first two months of 2022. Trees spanning on average 430 square kilometres area were removed.

Unplanned urbanization:

Cities are the hotspots of climate change, as per the report published by IPCC. The rapid but unplanned urban development is giving rise to sky rise buildings. Such concrete structures block the air circulation and give rise to warmth. The growing urbanization of green and vegetative spaces will have dangerous effects on the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE). Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) reports that currently, more than half the world’s population live in urban developments. By 2050, the number is likely to rise to 70%. Many Asian countries face hazardous consequences due to ill-planned cities like Karachi, Delhi, and Dhaka. As a result, these cities are frequent in highly polluted cities.
Climate change is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening here. It is happening now.” Barack Obama

Strong political will is a must to tackle global warming. The Paris agreement was a breakthrough in dealing with climate change but what happened next was a mess. Correct this mistake! Climate change is not affecting any one country in particular. It is a collective fight! The leading powers like the USA and China have a moral obligation to be a party to any initiative that could minimize the effects of global warming.

It is the responsibility of each citizen in every society to behave gently towards the environment.
“We need nature, not the nature needs us.” Stop cutting trees, burning trees, and razing the green pastures to build magnificent commercial plazas. Avoid diverting rivers from their natural routes. Respect nature and don’t turn water resources into garbage bins.

It is a religious practice in many countries to cremate the dead. According to National Funeral Directors Association in the United States, lots of wood is required to form a pyre in cremations. Additionally, cremation needs a lot of fuel to burn, resulting in tons of carbon emissions every year. Countries like India are introducing eco-friendly crematoriums. Further, many companies are coming up with creative ideas like converting human ashes into vinyl records, compressing diamonds and creating a marine reef. Adopt the idea!

Plant more trees. Countries like Pakistan have initiated ‘Billion tree tsunami’ programs for greener Pakistan. Appreciate such initiatives and follow!

Use clean and green energy. The world should follow the example of Germany, which is set to reduce emissions by 40% through a clean energy transition. The zero-emission vehicle is a good choice.

Stop burning garbage and remains of field crops. The resultant smoke chokes the lungs of children and adults alike.
In the end, we should pledge to protect the planet. Humans are making the worst mistakes to enhance the damage done by climate change. It is highly ignorant to just sit and watch! We can be the saviours of Mother Earth. It is high time to stand and act. “We must not pause our action on climate change. The climate emergency remains one of the greatest existential threats facing humanity”, said Ban Ki-Moon.

‘Greed Is Good’ – Remuneration, Motivation And Organisation

SUMMARY:

The personal incentive was heavily emphasized in the 1980s business culture in the United States and around the world, based on the belief that highly driven individuals could influence organizations and communities. Gordon Gekko in Wall Street was the most extreme example in film, claiming that greed was a positive thing. In the 1990s, however, organizations were traumatized and bankrupted as a result of the improper use of remuneration as a motivator. Despite this, huge business achievements have been founded on remuneration based on performance…

The personal incentive was heavily emphasized in the 1980s business culture in the United States and around the world, based on the belief that highly driven individuals could influence organizations and communities. Gordon Gekko in Wall Street was the most extreme example in film, claiming that greed was a positive thing.
In the 1990s, however, organizations were traumatized and bankrupted as a result of the improper use of remuneration as a motivator. Recently, Phones4U and Allied Dunbar in the financial services business are two examples.
Individual traders at the infamous Barings Bank were paid millions in incentives, yet these highly motivated people failed to meet the company’s long-term goals.

Furthermore, even if an individual’s incentive system is based on perfectly adequate performance metrics that result in the organization’s success and he or she gets rewarded, there may still be issues originating from the enormous pay gap between senior and middle management. It’s possible that a payment system that depresses or demotivates ten workers for everyone it inspires isn’t the ideal option for the company.

Wise businesses strive to reward and encourage all employees so that they work tirelessly to advance the company’s short and long-term goals and feel treated properly. However, the link between the products for which they are being awarded and the activities they can do to impact the desired outcome must be adequately established.
A wise company recognizes that:

• The individual manager has a reasonable right to act in his or her own best interests.
• Managers work for people, not organizations, and seek to impress their immediate superiors, or if that fails, their peer group.
• Managers want to succeed and will be drawn to projects where they know they can succeed, usually favoring the short term over the long term.

The obvious implication is that before relying on a remuneration structure to affect performance and behavior, an organization should establish some groundwork. In other words, the remuneration system must be balanced with the management and organizational system.

There are five essential prerequisites for establishing a successful reward scheme.
1. Measurement: “You won’t obtain it unless you measure it.” There are several measuring methods, the most well-known of which is the Balanced Scorecard, which has multiple objectives and is employed by Tesco.

2. Monitoring: If performance metrics are not effectively monitored, or are only monitored in a review at the end of the year, it can send signals to managers that they don’t really matter, or, even worse, that failure is okay if all of the managers fail at the same time.

3. Job tool control: The organization must ensure that the individual is not overly reliant on things beyond his control in order to meet the performance targets set (this is the “how” portion of the equation).

4. Consistency: Ensuring that short-term organizational issues do not overpower or divert managers from their primary goal. The organization must also guarantee that its own design (whether bureaucratic or loose) is appropriate for the tasks that managers are expected to complete.

5. Alignment of reward and strategy: Achieving a clear plan for an organization is a journey, not an event that will occur in the future. Even if an organization’s strategy is unclear, a remuneration system can be implemented as long as organizational and management conflicts are resolved using strategy and the “balanced scorecard.” Only then will the organization be under pressure to improve its strategy, structure, and remuneration processes.

A checklist of ten characteristics that an effective remuneration and reward structure must achieve is based on these five preconditions:

1. Back up the company’s plan
2. Promote the desired behavior.
3. Recognize and reward appropriate performance
4. Be reasonable 5. Be substantial 6. Be tax-effective.
7. Always be on time (the reward must take place close to the achievement).
8. Include non-monetary incentives (Recognition can be as important as cash)
9. Maintain your composure (A bonus lost through missing a target should not be recoverable, whereas a salary increase should only be delayed until a target is reached)
10. Be absolutely clear.