Tag Archives: Harleen Jabbal

What Happened- My Book Review

What Happened



“When the votes were counted, we hoped the symbolic glass ceiling would be shattered forever. I had been thinking about what I wanted to say for a few weeks. My speechwriters Dan Schwerin and Megan Rooney had been working with Jake Sullivan and Jennifer Palmieri on a draft. I knew they also had a draft concession speech under way as well, but I preferred not to think much about that.”- What Happened – Hillary Rodham Clinton






It was the world’s most watched election and possibly everyone stood breathless when the glass ceiling remained high up and he came from down under and scooped the victory.

What Happened is the story of the aftermath of the 2016 American Election and how Hillary lost. She writes in the Author’s Note: “This is my story of what happened. It’s the story of what I saw, felt, and thought during the two of the most intense years I’ve ever experienced.”

I will not review this book from the perspective of the election but request you to take it up as an example of what happens when you lose a fight you fought for so hard and no matter what happened, you did not win.

Hillary is frank and lays her entire journey from start to end and the aftermath. Sometimes in life we invest so much in our projects, work, marriages, families or friends that if we had a chance to take a bird’s eye view this is maybe how it would look like, “What Happened”.

We rally a team of supporters in our lives. Whether it is our family, friends, workers or loved ones. They put in their hours and you work on a common goal. But what if you do not achieve it? This book is an excellent guide of how your choices can lead you somewhere and then everywhere and finally nowhere. She was vying for the top most job in the world, but put yourself in her shoes and you will also see, as she writes “too often we fail to think big enough or act fast enough and let opportunities for change slip away. Or we don’t have the patience to see things through.”

It takes a lot of self awareness to share so openly. In the chapter titled “Trolls, Bots, Fake News and Real Russians”, she writes “I know some will dismiss everything in this chapter as me trying to shift blame for my loss in 2016. That’s wrong. This is about the future.”

What kind of today are you living in? Which yesterday were you struggling in? What will you make future like?

As a woman, I remain inspired by her story and yes sometimes it does not work out but one must always try, you never know.

My favourite part is the concession speech in the Chapter “On Being a Woman in Politics”, she writes:

“Early on the morning of November 9, when it came to decide on what I’d say in my concession speech, I remembered those words. Inspired by them, I wrote these: ‘To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your dreams.’

A definitely good read, check it out:


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Posted by on July 10, 2018 in Uncategorized


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The Power of I AM Joel Osteen- My Book Review

The Power of I Am- Joel Osteen

The Power of I Am- Joel Osteen, Courtesy



This book changed my life, after listening to Joel Osteen speaking to Oprah Winfrey on the Soul Sessions podcast I was determined to read and keep it by my side to keep referring to it.


Yes it is true, what we tell ourselves becomes our story. Change your story, change your power, see what is the I Am in you. Since listening to the podcast, I write a daily I Am _______ and try and follow the theme for the day as much as possible.




“Too many people go around feeling wrong on the inside. They don’t really like who they are. They think, If I were a little taller, if I had a better personality, if my metabolism were a little faster….or If I just looked like her, I would feel good about myself.”- See Yourself as a Masterpiece Chapter 7

This is a great hand book to take you through tough times and bring you back to the reality that only one person in the world can change how you feel and where you go, and that is only YOU.

He uses several Christian scripture references and his personal references for his journey as a pastor and these keep you gripped.

“The Scripture says, “Those who have believed enter into the rest of God.” The way you know you’re really believing is that you have a rest. You’re at peace. You know the answer is on the way. You know the right people and the right opportunities have already been set in your future.”- Trust God’s Timing Chapter 16

This is a must read. Get your copy.

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Posted by on June 19, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg- My Book Review


I have been meaning to publish my book reviews on my blog for a real long time and I found this book the best one to start things off with.

Smarter Faster Better- The Secrets of Being Productive comes from the bestselling author of The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg.

The book contains 8 simple yet powerful subjects on how to get your things done on time, fulfil your purpose and feel the best you can.

He uses various examples and provides insights into well researched papers that discuss things such as Motivation or Absorbing Data.


One of my favourite examples is for the animation FROZEN. You get stuck in life just because you have your own mountain of expectations but it takes you a while to realize that you are own inspiration and you can innovate. When Director Jennifer Lee and Songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez were struggling to give the animation an ending, they finally drew from their personal experiences of “letting go” and overcoming FEAR with LOVE.

Without trying how will you know and when you don’t know where you are going then things fall apart. In the Goal Setting Chapter, Charles points out “the reason why we need both stretch goals and SMART goals is that audaciousness, on its own, can be terrifying. Stretch goals, paired with SMART thinking, can help put the impossible within reach.”

So what is your impossible goal? Or what is your drag down activity and you want to let go or start afresh or simply do what you do better?

Try this book, Smarter Faster Better does get you to the path of clearing the way of nothing but your goal, productivity and satisfaction.


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Posted by on June 5, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Theatre Exists Everday


Theatre became famous from Romans, Greeks and of course Englishmen thanks to Mr William Shakespeare. You can get quite an excellent account of the history here on Wikipedia.

Your world is your stage, what you do with it is what makes the difference. You are acting in your own comedy, drama or tragedy. The beauty is that you can write and direct it whichever way you want. You can even control the set, scene and situation.

The beauty about Theatre is that it has a limited time, black background and velvet red-maroon curtains that hold all the suspense. It is a life created between a 40 by 25 feet space and it can do magic.

Explore your world everyday with the thought that theatre exists everyday. Kudos to those who make the magic come alive for us, when we sit on those audience chairs and see the magic unfold, read more about World Theatre Day.

Here are some other useful links, enjoy:

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Posted by on March 27, 2018 in Uncategorized


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What Defines Happiness?


On this International Day of Happiness, take a few minutes to ask yourself, what defines happiness in your life?

According to the recent World Happiness Report, while Finland is at the top, Kenya ranked 124. (See more on:

Undoubtedly the ever smiling person you can think of immediately is the Dalai Lama and here’s an interesting read on what he thinks about Compassion and Happiness, his blog post

What is happiness to you can be different to the person sitting right next to you. Also the state of mind in changing constantly even in moments, for example you might experience joy from eating your favourite chocolate cupcake and right after feel guilty for indulging in the choice of eating a sugary item. Thus, is the state of our mind, bouncing from thought to thought, positive to negative or vice versa.

To bring yourself into a constant state of happiness, there is much work to be done. While some seek Prayer, some seek motivational talks, some seek pleasure with friends or family, you have to realize it is again a unique proposition and satisfaction index.

Here’s a definition that inspires me:

“Humor opens closed hearts. Humor can free us from the grip of our thoughts. When we smile, we feel we can accept things we previously could not. We feel we can forgive those who have wronged us. Humor is an essential part of life.”- by Haemin Sunim

Take some time periodically in your life to get in touch with your inner happiness and your quest for success will surely continue to charter its course smoothly.


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Posted by on March 20, 2018 in Uncategorized


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It’s a Boy, It’s a Girl! Point Blank with Asian Weekly, 23rd February 2018


“Motherhood is a great honor and privilege, yet it is also synonymous with servant hood. Every day women are called upon to selflessly meet the needs of their families. Whether they are awake at night nursing a baby, spending their time and money on less-than-grateful teenagers, or preparing meals, moms continuously put others before themselves.”


– Charles Stanley


Motherhood is a privilege indeed. Once upon a time, our grandmothers gave birth to children at home in whatever the circumstances and environment. So much has changed since then, all the way from infrastructure to science and medical advancements.

1900s was considered the natural birth decade. Then around 1910s came a treatment known as Twilight Sleep, which was a type of sedation, often detrimental because it usually killed both mother and child. By the 1920s doctors were getting experimental and started doing the procedure of dilating the cervix and removing the baby with the forceps. In the 1950s the fetal ultrasounds started mostly to see the medical health of the baby and not gender yet. But women were still faced with the discrediting of childbirth as a medical phenomenon and not a natural action. Then came the 1960s where the dispensing of antibiotics started post birth and monitoring of fetal health through systems became regular. But this was also the time the woman had the option to use the new invention, the birth control pill.

1970s saw the introduction of the Lamaze classes and the use of epidurals to relieve pain. Fast-forward to the 1990s and the knowing the gender started becoming the norm, while the removal of amniotic fluid with an injection to check fetal health also became popular. The C-section procedure became popular in the millennium.

Having a baby is the most beautiful gift you can have. While there is positivity there is also negativity. According to the international organization taking the lead on orphan care, HOPE EFFECT they say there are 153 million orphans worldwide and add that, according to UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), if orphans were a country of their own, the population would rank 9th in the world—ahead of Russia. Such is the natural dilemma that we are facing.

Let’s narrow down to how are we treating childbirth around us. There is much celebration and even extravagant baby showers. Yes celebration is a must; it is a miracle that has been given to us humans. The baby showers really depend on your social circle, expectations and standards. I recommend, go and feed hungry orphans and blanket them with your love and possessions. However where a mother who is pregnant and needs your help then don’t hold back.

For the men or fathers you must support your lovely partner throughout the journey as much as possible or be frank and just not have the baby. Be real. She may not want you in the delivery room, but she wants you in her life no matter what. A recent study in Kenya shows that women prefer not to have their male companions in the delivery room. This study focused more on the rural areas and this does bring to light the much-needed personal education required in the families across the country. If we want gender equality then we must address deeper issues such as childbirth. The baby is a creation by both and a responsibility by both.

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Posted by on February 23, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Away and Away, The Express Fares Hike Up, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 16th February 2018


This May it will be one year to the opening of the Madaraka Express and it has seen almost 600,000 passengers and still counting.

The whole hype was fantastic and so far and journeys have been fun for those who have travelled on it. The Nairobi to Mombasa trip and versus has been successful and soon Nairobi to Naivasha will be launched.


The fares are meant to double this April and the protests have started. Rightfully so, since the Nairobi South Station is in Syokimau and access to it can cost you whether it is on matatu, taxi or private car. Thus, when you are doubling the economy fare and expecting the customer to also bear all those other costs it is unreasonable. To hike the fare within a year is unreasonable. A return first class ticket is 50% of a return airfare. Thus, they have the economic power to make the choice and larger groups can enjoy the reasonable fare and fun interaction during the journey.

For the average rider who prefers this ride to the bus, it is an unfair price increase. Also when they arrive in Mombasa they have further fares to pay to get to their final destination. At least a three years gap should been given. The most important service to get working like clockwork is the tickets booking, payments and information of the travel times. This needs to be as real time as possible and feedback as swift as possible. Fixing this key component will definitely sort out customer frustrations and discipline them to have faith in the system and depend on it for their travels. Hopefully even a last minute booking can be done, because Kenyan culture is very last minute. By winning the hearts of Kenyans with these small crucial efficiencies, the price hike will not seem unfair.

The security checks are superb and while the lines are long depending on busy season, you are assured of safety as much as possible. The main thing is to give a balance to this new technology and system because if the Madaraka Express can achieve this smoothly it will be the beginning for demand from the travellers to get better services for their daily commute. Every country faces hiccups when changing the infrastructure and this railway has been the biggest one since Independence. Let it not be the last one.

Let this railway be a learning platform for future engineers, architects and technicians, just a few skilled jobs that young Kenyans can aspire to have. Why should they watch a mega structure unfold on television when seeing it for themselves can inspire them? They need to know they can build something similar or bigger and better too. It is the vision the Government must aspire to create for them, only then our future has hope of be a fighter in the competitive African market, which is being exploited by “those who know better”.

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Posted by on February 16, 2018 in Uncategorized


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