Recovery Talk “Premature”

The Economy Is No Longer In Free Fall

First Published: May 17, 2009

As tempting as it is to believe that the economy is well on the way to recovery after the trials and tribulations of the past couple of years, it is important not to just take any sign of improvement as a signal that everything is hunky dory again. The nature of the beast is that we are going to have some false alarms before everything is back in shape, and there may well be people who get caught out speculating in a financial environment that does not do justice to their hopes and expectations. A good example is the recent news that financial indicators are showing positive signs. They are, but that is not the full story.

Data from both north and south of the Canada-US border seems to suggest good news – that the economy is no longer in free fall as it was last year and for the early parts of this one. While this is good news, a stabilization is by no means the same thing as a recovery, and neither is it a guarantee nor even a predictor of immediate recovery. We have had the free fall period, and it was longer than anyone would have hoped. Whether a recovery could even be trusted to be definitive if it were to happen right now is questionable. There is a lot to get through yet before we can confidently herald a recovery. Patience is a virtue. We may have to wait for growth to kick in and be grateful for the recent improvement from terror to stability.

One possible reason for the need to be patient on recovery is that retail sales in the States have fallen. American shoppers have, after a brief rally, retired to the sidelines amid uncertainty over the strength of this new found stability. Without an increase in retail sales there is less on which to base a recovery, as the stimulation of an economy relies quite profoundly on the spending power of its citizens. Not only on their spending power, in fact, but also on their willingness to spend. If shoppers show concern over the ongoing state of an economy, it can make them reluctant to go out and spend, and more likely to save their hard-earned cash. Good and wise for those people, but less so for the economy.

Other indicators which seem to show a lack of immediate recovery include the fact that Canadian airlines are finding it difficult to attract passengers. More people flying is a sign of a thriving economy, as satisfied business individuals reward themselves with holidays that they feel they can afford. As things stand, these individuals are thin on the ground (and in the air) – which, in addition to news of a continued fall in worldwide demand for petroleum oil, points to a low level of economic activity both in Canada and abroad. It is, however, easier and better to approach a recovery from a point of stability. One hopes that this will come sooner rather than later. For the moment the message is “stay tuned”

Will Self Help Books Help Your Personal Development?

Personal Development and Self Help Books

When you think of personal development, you probably think immediately of self-help books. Self-help books is a billion dollar industry will millions of people buying books that apparently teach them how to live better and be better at whatever it is they want to improve. However, the question is, do self-help books really help your self? Should you spend your money on these books?

To start, self-help books are books written with the intention of instructing the reader on personal problems. They get the term of self-help because they are apparently teaching you to help yourself. These books focus on psychology like romantic relationships, human behaviour, controlling will power and more. Self-help books usually advertise themselves as being able to help you find satisfaction within your life.

These books will often tell you that they will help you when other therapies cannot. They often tell you they can do it faster and that entices many who want to fix things now, rather than working for the change. There are also many celebrities who offer self-help books, even though they have no training in self-help.

Most of these books are bogus and you should not waste your time with them. When you are looking to develop yourself personally and better yourself, you cannot do it quickly. We live in a society that wants everything now and instantaneously. We want things fixed immediately because we are a one-hour photo society. Things do not happen quickly, they take time, they will not be fixed immediately. When you want to change yourself, you must look inward of yourself and make the change. It takes time and it is a long personal journey. Self-help books are a lot like diets. When you find a fad diet that helps you lose weight because you are only drinking apple juice and eating cucumber sandwiches, you lose a lot of weight. Then when you lose the weight, you stop the diet and gain all the weight back. This happens because you did not take the time to truly change who you are. You just followed diet till you got what you wanted, then went back to your own ways. If you want to lose weight you have to alter your lifestyle, with exercise and eating right. Then when you lose weight, you keep it off. Self-help books offer you a quick fix and initially you may feel as though they are working, but they are not. They are just giving you what you want and then when you think you have what you want, you stop following the self-help book guidelines and you revert back to the way you were.

If you truly want to better yourself, you need to take the time to look inward and begin that long inward journey without having a self-help book or celebrity telling you have that is going to happen. Things do not come quickly, so don’t think they will. Take things slow and you will be happier in the end.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com. This article originally published on the above website on Nov 27, 2010.

What will things be like after the recession?

After The recession, World’s Economy And China

First published: Published Date : May 24, 2009

For some time in the last couple of years, the question that one dared not ask was “What would we do in a recession?”. Then the bad news about the financial state of the world started filtering out and the question was amended slightly to “If this continues, will we see a recession?”. This time the question was answered in short order, as things got worse with little delay, and the new question was “How soon will we be out of this recession?”. As yet, opinions differ on how and when the world will lift itself out of the financial crisis that is uniting many of the most powerful economies in the world in a sense of real and tangible panic. Another question is being asked, too – “What will things be like after the recession?”

The world’s economy has taken something of a battering over the last couple of years. There are countries who, against the statistical likelihood, have prospered, but they are generally economies that were termed as “developing” and had less of an established infrastructure, thus were less at risk from the tremors that ripped through a number of markets and industries. The major economies of the world are largely interlinked through mutual investment agreements and free trade, and thus when one of them hit a brick wall, the rest were always likely to feel some of the impact. Those countries which were just getting up to speed were always likely to remain outside the clutches of the recession.

When the recession is over, then, one thing that we are likely to see is some new major players on the global economic stage. It would be short sighted and insulting to assume that the countries which have big reputations now will simply retake their places at the top table when things pick up. Countries with developing economies that are further along than others may be the ones to really benefit. Look for Brazil, India and China – three countries with massive populations, a great deal of manpower and growing economies – to come to the table with a significantly improved bargaining position. There are ill-effects from this recession for all three, but all have been able to deal with it better than the “major” economies, as they have been insulated by a lack of complicity in the failures of the global economy.

China has for some time now been seen as the world’s next great superpower. Its time may come sooner than expected due to the compression of the field that has resulted from the recession. China has embraced capitalism unofficially, and its major technological development in recent years allied to a huge workforce makes for an impressive armory. India, another nation with a billion-plus population, is less far along but has not suffered the slowdown that the long-time leaders have and so can continue its development. Brazil, for its part, is a large landmass with a sizeable population and its government has been praised for its economic handling. All of the above three nations have their own specialized industries that are of major interest to the world, and all will hold strong bargaining positions going forward.

Aeroplan Customer Service Wait Time Is More Than An Hour

Aeroplan One Hour + Hold Time on Phone

First Published in July, 2015

The Aeroplan rewards program has always had complaints for various issues such as hefty fees and taxes, hard to find seats, no availability in business class, and much more. However, Aeroplan's other big problem is their terrible customer service and I was on hold for more than an hour when I called them on July 19, 2015.

I never had to call Aeroplan before, so I had no idea that it would be a one hour ten minutes wait to talk to a rep. After holding the phone for 20 minutes, I realized that I was wasting my time and could better utilize time doing something else while keeping the phone on speaker. So I started my workout and long after I was done I had the opportunity to talk to a live person. My total wait time was about one hour 10 minutes.

I asked the rep if this kind of long wait time is only today because it's Sunday or if it's a daily thing. I appreciate the fact that she told me the truth and said this happens everyday and they are trying to upgrade/fix the system to reduce the long wait.

Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley Natural Wonders

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 6

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 5

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 1

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 2

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 3

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 4

After finishing my Hobbiton tour, I was heading for Te Puia, which is located within the historic Te Whakarewarewa Valley. Te Puia spans 70 hectares and sits on the edge of Rotorua. Travel time to reach Te Puia would be close to one hour.

On my way, again, I was mesmerized by the scenic beauties of New Zealand. It’s hard to describe, but I have captured them for you to watch on my YouTube channel and Instagram page. 

Upon arriving at Te Puia, I was given an hour and a half for lunch and the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley tour. The building or structure where the Māori cultural centre, tourist welcome booth, restaurant and other sections are located were all made based on a combination of Māori architecture with a modern feel.

Te Puia is the centre of New Zealand’s Māori culture. The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand who arrived from Polynesia more than 1000 years ago. The Māori represent 15% of New Zealand’s population and their culture, history, language and traditions are central to New Zealand’s identity.

The buffet-style lunch in the new restaurant had a large selection of Traditional (Maori) food and typical Kiwi dishes. There were so many items and such a short time that I was overwhelmed and was not able to enjoy the dishes properly. I rushed to sample 6-7 items and then headed towards Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley sightseeing.