2 Questions, and answer the second one first

2 questions on world domination

I was re-reading Chris G’s great little book “World Domination” (download for free here), and in that book, he asks two questions:

“What do you really want out of life?”


“What can you give to the world that no one else can?”

The remarkable thing about the above two questions is that the first one does not prepare you at all to answer the second one. And as you’d expect, let me explain:

I had the first question answered down to the last cross on the “t” and the last dot on the “i”. I knew exactly what I wanted out of my life. This was in early 2000 and I was in college.

Life, in point-form

At that time, what I wanted out of life itself was to:

  1. have a number of businesses (be an entrepreneur rather than a businessman)
  2. have a very practical, great-looking, comfortable car
  3. be able to travel to anywhere in the world if I wanted to
  4. have my own timings, be my own boss
  5. be a published writer

Ok, so, I don’t know about you, but for me, at that time, these were worthy objectives. Most of them still are. When everyone around me were talking about working for this bank or that telecom company or even Microsoft, I didn’t even apply anywhere. I wanted freedom, money and I wanted to be different.

When in doubt, design!

I didn’t have the money to start any capital-intensive business, so I started a non-capital-intensive one; I started designing websites. I was already doing that while at college. I was self-employed before I became employable.

And it was because I was self-employed (read: had lotsa time on my hand), I was able to partner up with people with money. Things moved – now that I have the advantage of hindsight – really, really fast.

All I want is everything

3 years out of college, I not only achieved the above 5 ‘objectives’ but was already bored out of them. I had three profitable enterprises, owned an Accord CF3 and had a whole floor as my ‘personal office’ in the poshest of areas in Lahore (Y Block, DHA for the initiated). I was not rich, I didn’t have extra cash in the sense we imagine ‘rich’ people to have, but I was exactly where I wanted to be. By God’s Ultimate Grace.

So many years after that exceptionally wonderful experience, I only wish I knew the answer to the second question.

I only wish to find the answer to the second question now.

The first question has lost its appeal in totality. Now ‘what I want out of life’ can only be inspirational enough if it helps to achieve the objectives of the second question, “what can I give to the world that no one else can?”

I would in fact invite the Chris himself to perhaps suggest some ideas on the answer to the second question. How do I figure out what I can give to the world that no one else can? What is that Chris can give to the world that no one else can?

What can you give to the world that no one else can?

We all contribute in making the world what it is, so by the simplest of all logic, we can change it too. And we can do it at will.

Have you even pondered over this question? What are your ideas?

Image from Josh Russell

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  1. Avais

    Another thought provoking piece… I recall a couple of years bank I came across a clip of Imran Khan’s address to the students of University of Bradford (of which Imran was Vice Chancellor at the time) and one statement of his struck me… which was something to this effect: that the desire for money is good when you know what you are going to use that money for. In essence what he was trying to tell the audience was that money making is not an end rather a means to an end and each individual needs to define his own end. What people end up doing many a times is to confuse the means with the ends and while Alhumdulillah you have successfully recognised albeit with hindsight that the end you had earlier set yourself is in effect a means to something else; others may not be so fortunate in that they never even reach this conclusion before they reach their conclusion.
    If you were to ask me whether you have given something to this world, my answer would be a big definite “YES”. You have given the world this blog of yours which day in and day out provokes people to think and inspires them in to doing something which they are too scared to do. You are giving a lot of people the hope that in these times of widespread pursuit of selfish interests it is indeed still possible make a good living without compromising the basic tenets of Islam. I believe that when you get to the other end of this path you would realise that you have contributed plenty to the world. Having said that let this not be the end, for there are higher mountains to be climbed and more distant galaxies to be explored…. let the pursuit continue…and let there be no end…

    • aray bhai wah
      Loved your thoughts. And thank you for such encouraging words, Avais.
      Decay is indeed another word for status quo. We are either moving forward, or falling backwards. So yes, let the pursuit continue and let there be no end. Thanks man. God bless 🙂

  2. Great reflections and thanks for the invite. I think it’s most important to focus on the idea of service to others, and not get stuck too much on what a specific, unique contribution is. Often we get more specific and unique over time *as* we seek to engage, not beforehand when we’re trying to figure it out.

    Again, nice post!

    • The message that you are trying to put across, this means, is that you should be off your ass and doing stuff, and it will make sense later, if it not making sense now.

      I agree to that 100 percent. The only thing holding me back, and many others I am sure, is the stupid ‘intellectual’ position that what if you are ‘climbing the tallest tree in the forest only to find out that you were not supposed to climb the tallest tree’…

      But there is no other practical/viable option than to ‘just start doing bigger things’, and that needs to be reconciled I guess.

      Thanks Chris for the appreciation and the advice 🙂 That in itself is inspiring and should help me carve out something bigger, God willing. Thanks.

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