Tackle the right problems in your life

Recently, I was having some really painful toothaches, it seems that one of my teeth was giving me some hard time… so I decided to go to the dentist and remove it.

I went to the dentist, laid down and opened my mouth, the dentist smiled and said in a comforting *yet disturbing for some* “That’s the problem right there… We will have to remove it”… I couldn’t agree more with the doctor; but to my surprise, the doctor removed a different tooth! It was one of my “wisdom” teeth located 2 steps away from where I thought the problem was, that was causing all this mess, and was pressing onto the rest.

I didn’t understand at first, I was super confident of the root of the problem, I could feel it hurting me… but then it was not the root, but actually an effect of the problem.

And while I was under the impression that I was right on what to be done, I was NOT! In fact, I JUST thought I had everything figured out…

A lot of time in our life, when we face problems, we tend to jump into conclusions that would lead us to figuring out solutions that may make our situation even worse, and instead of fixing the it, we makes it worse, while we have good intentions in the beginning. This week’s tip, is about taking how to try to dig deeper in trying to figuring out the right root of the problem.

On one of the monthly meeting for the Speed-Coaching Mondays in Dubai, where Coaches and Clients meet for free networking and coaching. I had 15 minutes to coach a girl who was thinking too much about how a failure her life is, along with several other problems in her life like the lack of her attention span, and how she can never take risks and so many other things she was attributing to both her personality and the environment she was living in.

After around 5-6 minutes of her describing her dozens of issues, I started asking very simple questions to her… and as strange as my suggestion to her was (Which I’ll let you know in a moment), we decided to connect a couple of weeks later.

She was very happy with the (totally un-related) suggestion, I was suspecting that what she was experiencing was the effect of a problem or an issue that she would be totally unrelated to her thoughts, and I was right… The Air Conditioner’s Filters in her flat has not been cleaned / maintained for a while, and that cause several elements of dust to be thrown in her bedroom, and causing her issues (although in a light way) breathing and therefore sleeping though the night… and when she took some days to sleep in an Hotel for a couple of days (That was my suggestion), she felt so much better and got more motivation and energy to work out the issues in her life…

So my suggestion to you, is simple… Remember that the real problems in your life are those you are NOT AWARE that you have them… so Think outside of the box, and step aside from the possibilities that are “obvious” to you. And you might be surprised!

Enjoy your Week!


Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

5 Tips from a Frequent Flyer

When I was sitting in the last hour of 2014 evaluating what happened during the year, one thing stroke my attention… I have taken 62 FLIGHTS in 2014!! And compared to 37 flights in 2013… I won’t be counting the miles and hours I spent up in the air instead, I’ll share with you 5 tips that you might find useful next time you’re taking a trip.

1. Be Meticulous when you pack your bags

Whether it was a long flight or a short one, if you were traveling Light or not, packing is important… SOME try to STUFF things in their bags as if they were escaping the apocalypse only to live in a deserted island for the rest of their life J … Irrespective which type of PACKER / STUFFER are you, my advice to you is to be in a state READY to open your bag and add, check or remove anything in a matter of less than 2 Minutes!

For any reason you might be in a long line, and you would be asked about to open your bag… to see / validate something in it… and no one likes to be in this situation, exposing their personal items to the public… So make sure you can do so in 1 minute… and save yourself and others some inconvenience…

One time as I was walking the door of my flat, I discovered that the key to the apartment is in the pocket of my suit stored very carefully in my bag… Yes it happens!

2. Your Passport is your most important asset… Understand it

It does help that you go through your passport and memories important items on it, you WILL be asked in EVERY flight you take to fill a small form that will include your Passport #, its Date of Issuance, Place of Issuance and expiry date. Most of the time, you will need to fill that form before you land, or before you pass through passport control, so it can save you some time and less effort to get your passport from your bag stored in the overhead location or do so while standing in a line or so.

One other thing here, and this may only happen if you’re traveling in the countries of the Middle East and Africa but it’s worth mentioning… Some Local authorities, might HAND-write down some information on your passport, like a number or a code… That you might not pay attention to at the time, nevertheless, they would LOOK for this (again Hand-Written) code while admitting you in… So if you have changed passports or something. This might take you even more time and sometimes some inconvenience.

Also, your passport holds your travel History, and at points, you would be asked (whether in an application or in-person)  about a specific date of entry to a country… in My case, once I was standing before the passport control in Morocco and the gentleman was sure that I didn’t leave the country the last time I went in, since it does not show on the system… so I had to look up the “Stamp”… otherwise it would’ve been an additional valuable time to finish the process… So MAKE SURE you pay attention when the gentleman perform his procedure on your passport.

3. Be at the airport at LEAST 2 hours before your flight time

I have a good friend, who really Push the envelope on this one, he would literally take his time in going to the airport, and we always fight over why I do the opposite J …

There are numerous cases that I passed through personally that made me confident that the rule of 2-3 hours before your flight time is there for a REASON!!

Let’s say you forgot something VERY important and you only discovered that when you were in the airport? Let’s say there were a LOT of people checking in, you can’t say that “you have a flight to catch” cause you know, everyone else is in the same shoe as you!

Sometimes, airlines could be OVERBOOKED, so you might arrive and NOT find a place for you on the plane (it does happen). And sometimes, just sometimes, a sequence of unfortunate events could happen to you… and make you lose time and more time and more time… like the time I was flying to Oman from Kuwait through Dubai, and I had 2 boarding passes, and the gentlemen in the passport control stamped my boarding pass going from Dubai to Oman and not from Kuwait to Dubai… and Guess what? They couldn’t let me BOARD, until I had to go BACK to the passport control and fix that… Imagine doing that all in like 30 minutes before the plane takes off.

4. Be at the gate exactly at the Boarding time

Also some folks would push the envelope on this one too, so they spend some time cruising around the airport here and there, and wait till the last minute to board the flight…

Sometimes, your boarding gate DOESN’T LEAD YOU DIRECTLY to your plane, but instead to a shuttle that would transport you to your plane; and your plane could REALLY be far from where you THINK it is parked… I was flying Emirates the other day, and while I boarded in Dubai, the gate lead to a shuttle and the bus took us on a 25 minutes trip to SHARJAH (that’s another Emirate BTW) so we could board on the plane… So seriously, you wouldn’t want this type of stress of almost-missing your flight because of that nice perfume you saw in the Duty Free.

5. Be careful when booking connection flights

When a direct flight is not available or is more expensive, a connecting flight is a decent and sometimes rather an excellent choice; just make sure to pay attention of the time difference between your arrival time from your initial flight and the boarding time of your connecting flight.

Let me put it to you in a different way, 45 minutes might SEEM reasonable to you giving you enough time to change planes etc… IT’S NOT… you may need to add an additional Hour to make it reasonable… So 1h 45 minutes IS a good time… as so many things might happen on the way… If you ever took a connection flight from CAIRO per example, (depending on which terminal you would land) the local procedures caused me to MISS my connecting flight 2 times in 1 week!!! And if you ever took a connection flight from Paris, and saw the LONG LINE … REALLY LONG line on inspection… and that wouldn’t help when your initial flight gets delayed (it happen with even the best airlines in the world… almost frequently for numerous reasons)

On a lighter side, the opposite happen, so always confirm the timings with your travel agent before you accept the flight, I once spent 9 hours in Italy and once I spent 11 Hours in Germany… because I thought that I will arrive at 9 AM and will board at 10:15 AM… and it turned out that I will board at 10:15 PM.

6. BONUS: Enjoy the Experience!

Flying is not a stressful activity, unless you make it this way, if you plan everything in advance, follow instructions and deal with un-expected things as they happen, you shouldn’t face enough issues. It’s still the safest mean to travel. And an Excited experience as well, so look around, enjoy the variety of people, languages, sounds and colors all around you, make sure you have a headphones on and play your favorite tunes and you would end up inside a movie or a nice story…

Have a safe flight and Enjoy your week!


Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

You need to stand up and walk, before you can run

In my line of business, I’m lucky to meet interesting individuals from all over the world, almost everyday 🙂  and in this post, I’m going to introduce you to one of them!

This is the first Monday of the year 2015, and for some, the first day of the first week of the year that would change their entire life. You would wake up, filled with motivation that this is THE day that you need to make it happen…

Unfortunately for some, they are close to losing faith in themselves… As this is not the first Monday they have felt this enthusiasm, it has been the same in 2014, in 2013 and maybe since 2003? And some have been waiting all of their life for Life to Happen!   is it just bad luck? is it just that some are not DESTINED to be great? not to become successful?

To be quite honest with you, I haven’t always been that optimistic and enthusiast about life 😦 . There were days when I felt that no matter what I did, I would NEVER succeed. And the reason why I felt this way, is because I was holding myself accountable by comparing myself to “successful” people and underestimating the reason (s) and mostly the TIME-FRAME it took them to become successful!

If you take a good look at some of the basic things you’re able to do today with ease, you would be surprised how difficult for your grandfather to visualize himself doing the same when he was your age. Some things was NOT AT ALL EASY back then, yet today, we take them for granted… Even some of your favorite artists today, have been in business for years and some DECADES.

This week’s tip, is inspired by a conversation I’ve had with a very interesting individual, She’s the proud owner of a “Happiness Project” of spreading positive vibes and motivation everyday to hundred of thousands of people around the world.

When I first discovered the Quotes Gate  Facebook page, my first impression, was that a successful company, led by several team members, must be running it… Until I received a message from the owner, ASMA, introducing herself to me and initiating connection, and after an interesting discussion, I learned (and got shocked) that it was only a young Egyptian Student managing this page from her iPad! I was shocked because the page has more than 900,000 Fans!!! a number some very established media companies fail to reach with all their budgets and team efforts… 

 Driven by only her passion to helping others and spreading wellness to her community, ASMA is doing a Fantastic Job!

But there was a Catch to this story!

You see, based on our discussion, I discovered that this well established project, is only at its beginning, and have way more room for growth that you can possibly imagine, only the owner, was standing STILL and waiting to FLY. Not diving into our conversation and the details of the strategy I’ve advised her to do… You will hear about it when the time is come 🙂  I just wanted to stress on the fact that Every Professional was an Amateur at one point in time, it’s OK to Start somewhere and stand up, and learn to walk first… Then learn to run, and then JUMP…

It’s better to improve by 0.5% everyday, than to wait 1 year to improve 100% … if you do the math, you’ll see that improving 1/2 a % daily will lead you to being more than 600% better!!

Remember this quote by The German Philosopher and have a beautiful year ahead!

Enjoy your Week!


He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project