Anup Shah Interview – Part 2

June 2, 2006

Here is part two of the exclusive Anup Shah interview.

If you missed Part 1, read it here.

4. In my work as a personal coach, a large amount of work goes into not being biased or judgemental when talking with clients. Do you feel that it is an important trait to have when you write articles that are related to topical global issues?

Certainly. It is not easy though. I am not happy with some of my earlier articles, which are a bit more opinionated than I would like (which I will address over due course). The challenge of writing about political issues is that it will not be possible to please everyone, so even though some may think you are not biased, others will think you are! What I try to do is provide liks and sources as much as I can, so people can see for themselves.

5. You are not credited in any political field and write extensively about global issues. Does this affect your readership or your website content's reliability?

Probably. I am quite conscious about this, and have tried to be as open about this as I can on my web site's about section. I therefore try to link and reference as many sources as I can within the articles so people can follow through. I think in the earlier years of the site, I occasionally cited slightly more opinionated views that I would do now, and these days I try to ensure what I cite is of good quality, too. Of course, not everyone will have heard of all the sources I use, but when they are online, people can follow them as much as they want. I tried to keep them varied and broad, including sources from developing countries, as here in the UK, or from my experience in the US, we hardly hear such views and perspectives.

As an aside, not having a degree in a related field and doing computer science instead has resulted in another problem for me: the quality of my writing skills! Computer science encourages efficiency, not good quality writing. A number of pages are, I feel, poorly written, and that is something I am trying to improve. I think more recently updated pages/sections are better, but some old pages do still exist that I want to change – time allowing!

In terms of readership, from what I can tell, the visitors come from all around the world (the majority being from the US). I have even had people from the UN email me or sign on to my mailing list. Even former US President Jimmy Carter, and the famous political activist, Bianca Jagger, have emailed me with kind words.

I have personally tried to avoid ads, and requests for donations, etc for the time-being, so that probably helps with credibility, too.

I think I have made a decent attempt thus far, as a number of times I have been asked to either write an article for a publication/newspaper, or do a small radio interview for someone. The OneWorld.net and MediaChannel.org affiliations for example, also help in terms of credibility. A number of other reasonably prominent web sites have linked to certain pages of mine, which helps too. Until Africa started being talked about a bit more in recent years in the mainstream, I found news sites such as the BBC and others occasionally link to some of my Africa pages. A number of high schools and university web sites have linked to the site as a resource for students. I have also recently been asked to write a book, which I think really helps as well. I won't go into the details on the book for now as it may not go ahead, but the fact that I was approached rather than the other way round makes me feel that I must have done okay somewhere!

Ultimately, however, bias will be everywhere, intentional or not, from the largest and most popular news outlets to the smallest sites, so it is up to the individual reading the content to determind if the content is reliable or not.

6. From a web development angle, how did you manage to get your Global Issues website to the top search engine ranking for the issues you write about?

I think a number of factors have helped me here: I have had the site since 1998, so some search engines place a bit of weight on that. Perhaps most importantly, many other websites link to various pages on my site, which I also link out to others.

 

 

 

 

Search engines apparently like this, because when they see a site receiving many links from other, related and reputable sites, they see it being a kind of vote for that site. Enough of these "votes", and you get a better ranking!

In the early years of the site there was a lot of one-to-one "marketing", whereby I simple emailed other websites that I frequently visited to see if there was any way they could place a link to my site. I was probably fortunate because in those "early years" of the web, there were not as many sites on these issues as there are now. These days, I don't really have the time to do this, but I still find many new links to the site from all over the place, so hopefully this means that the site is itself generating enough interest. (As I write this, it has been almost a month since I have updated the site, because of a particularly long and drawn out project at work, and yet that has not affected site visits, for example).

Some people try to fool and cheat search engines using a variety of techniques. I stay away from that, because once you are found out, you will be knocked off the listings, and struggle to get back on. Furthermore, it is plain dishonest. In principle, search engines go for what can be determined as good quality content that people are compelled to link to.

 

7. You’ve been editing the Global Issues website since 1998. What has driven you to continue it eight years later?

Another hard one to answer! A number of people ask me this as well and I always struggle to answer it! I guess it’s a combination of deep interest in these issues, the enormous number of encouraging and motivating emails I get (for I often question whether there is any point going on, as in some ways not much seems to change or just when you think there might be progress in world affairs, something will happen to prove otherwise), and probably a number of other factors I can’t yet articulate!

 

8. What do you believe is the relationship between self development and global issues? Is there a connection between the two?

 

The way I see it, there is a connection between most issues, in some way. At one level, the support of global issues such as universal human rights inherently supports the development of the individual self.

Furthermore, in a functioning democracy, individuals have responsibilities as well as rights. Amongst other things, those responsibilities include making informed decisions, not just to vote, but to also ensure that people are accountable, that those universal values are not slowly taken away, and so on. Self development is not done in a vacuum, and so, I feel that global concerns are crucial for self development.

 

Approaching this from the other way, a drive to improve and develop the self can perhaps help one to be more open-minded about global issues, encourage one to look outwards to see how they fit into the world around them, and even strive to learn more.

9. What advice would you give to individuals who are on the personal growth path about global issues and the way they deal with it?

Probably to say be open minded, try to learn about issues from the perspective of others around the world, to be questioning about what is (and what is not) reported from the mainstream media, and the types of experts interviewed, etc. That is not to say there is a conspiracy of some sort to actively lie, or whatever, but that power does influence our world, and so naturally the media—a crucial aspect of a functioning democracy—is going to be subject to those interests, too.

If we wish to develop ourselves personally, as productive members of society, then we also need to ensure the society we are to be productive in is as positive for the world as possible. We in the wealthy countries have more influence on other people around the world than we realize. But this influence can be negative as well as positive, so any personal growth path, I feel, needs to consider the global as well as personal considerations.

KH: Thanks very much, Anup. Your commitment and the writings you present are a great learning resource and eye-opener to all who read them. And I hope you write that book!


Anup Shah Interview – Part 1

May 30, 2006

This week, I have an exclusive interview with Global Issues editor, Anup Shah. Anup is the founder of Global Issues, a website that is founded on his broad interest in global issues and is now used as a reference worldwide in various institutions and publications.

The Global Issues website is something I read on a regular basis. It provides me with more information to things I hear about on the news as well as help trains my skills in being non-judgemental, critical thinking and making decisions in everyday life.

I'm a huge believer of creating something that has a great impact around you by providing useful material and I think Anup has an impressive story of how you can use a hobby that doesn't need to make money to make a difference in this world. His story is also great teachings for those who want to set up good, informative and resourcesful websites. So I was delighted when I had the opportunity to interview Anup in connection with global issues and a hint of self development.

The interview has large informative answers so I have divided it into two parts. The second part will be posted in a few days. Enjoy!

1. Why did you intend to start, write and edit Global Issues? What is your motivation?

In 1997, having just graduated from a university in England with a computer science degree, a friend of minte introduced me to Structural Adjustment Policies and their negative impacts on poor countries and people around the world. I was shocked about this, having never heard of it before.

My first job that autumn was in the US in the software industry. I wanted to practice web development skills for work, so in my spare time I tried that, but needed to focus on something. At the same time, I quickly became disturbed by the poor quality of the mainstream media in the US. The two seemed to go hand in hand… I purchased the globalissues.org domain in mid-1998 and it has unexpectedly taken off since then.

So, my inital motivation was actually to practice web development, but then it became like a personal journey for me: I wanted to learn more about why the media was so poor and why otherwise very kind and good people seemed to have narrow views about those from other countries. This led me to learn and read more about geopolitics, poverty, trade/economic related issues, the environment and so on. In those days, there were very few web sites about these things, compared to now, though there was an exceptional one, called OneWorld.org (now OneWorld.net). They accepted me as a partner organisation, which was fantastic for me, as I viewed them as one of the few web sites at that time that wrote about global issues from a much more global perspective than the media in the US – or UK for that matter – offered.

I continue to maintain this in my spare time, though it is often difficult to get the time to do so. I have tried to answer this question in more depth at http://www.globalissues.org/about/ if you want to read more.

2. How do you select the issues that you write about?

Hard to say! Initially it started off in a few major areas: human rights, the environment, poverty/structural adjustment, the media and geopolitics. There were just these few initial pages, which over time, grew into multiple pages as sub-topics became larger and larger.

In some aspects, the choice of topics I may write about at a given time feels a bit randome/unstructured. For example, sometimes I may have read something which intrigues me and I follow it through a bit more. Other times, I just look over my site and try to see what needs updating and try to work that, if possible (though there are still many pages requiring updates!). Yet other times, there may be a global event, which I feel may be getting covered in such a way that many global concerns are being ignored or glossed over, and thus not providing enough context for readers. I also try to read a number of books, and make notes from them, which I then try to write up. (However, I am some three years behind on writing up those notes!) It is a continual learning process for me, so in a way, I just let it take me wherever it goes.

3. How do you manage to keep on top of all the extensive topics you read and write about as well as working long hours on a full-time job and balance all other interests you may have?

A lot of people ask me this, and to be honest, I don't know! I often work into the night, 2am or so being common. I don't drink tea or coffee, either, which people think I need to consume in gallons!

In terms of how do I keep on top of all the extensive topics: I subscribe (either via Email or via RSS subscriptions) to a number of sites. I admittedly find it very hard to read most of these subscriptions these days due to time constraints and email overload. One thing I try to do is set a goal for myself, that every month I send an email update of major updates/additions made to the site over the course of the past month. This encourages me not to slack off too much. The only time I have ever missed this was when I was getting married!

In terms of other interests: well, with my recent marriage, I thought I would have a lot less time on this website, but my wife is very understanding, which is fantastic. (She is quite busy herself with volunteering work and the like, so it kind of balances out!) My family has been very supportive, too, which helps. There are times when work deadlines results in a number of long days or weeks, and the web site and emails have to take a back seat. Other times, I simply decide for a few days or a week to just not do anything, as it can be quite draining. Sometimes I try to do the global issues work around other commitments, and other times I do it the other way. It really depends on my mood at the time, I think!

 

 


Secrets of The Money Shamans

May 26, 2006

Around two weeks ago, I had the good fortune of connecting with Davide de Angelis, author of the ebook, Secrets of The Money Shamans. I regularly get asked to write testimonials, review products, etc because of the nature of my work, but I rarely take many of them up because of the time it takes to do such things. However something really pulled me to check out Davide's book so I followed my inner feeling.

I immeadiately dropped my work and delved into the book for a few hours on the same day. The book is very powerful. It breaks apart traditional teachings and presents the way that the world works. It uses extremely powerful, creative and non-standard exercises to show you how you can bring more money into your life. The lessons are creative, and just reading the contents page will make you intrigued to find out more.

Davide's story is one of inspiration, through which he met his teachers, Paolo and Caroline Santoro when his life was on the fall. Their commitment to learn together brought about major changes in Davide's life which made him a money-making machine.

Like all holistic people advise, don't cure the problem on the surface, head down to the root and demolish it from there. Through this book, the Money Shamans will help you do that. Here's what Davide has to say:

The other problem with most teachings or techniques is that they don't explain how to deal with the powerful resistance to change we all have – even if we are uncomfortable with our present circumstances. They don't give you the tools you need to complete the job. This is why you will often experience only a temporary shift before falling back into old ways of thinking and acting around money.

And the Secrets of the Money Shamans help you do this.

Personally for me, even though I have read many many books on finance, personal wealth, etc and all have had an impact on me, this one has spiritually created a larger change and that is the basis for the real mental and physical change as I feel my beliefs are now grounded.

Genuinely, if you're going to invest in your life's money education, get this book because it'll help form a solid foundation. I think it's much needed and it's a small investment for the return you'll get. I promise.


What School Doesnt Teach

May 21, 2006

My two-year research project has kicked off. It's a work research project with my business, InnerRhythm and will ultimately lead to starting The InnerRhythm Foundation.

The project, WhatSchoolDoesntTeach.com, is live over at this website and seeks out views from hundreds of people as to what they wish they learnt back at school in order to create brilliant lives now.

The headline reads: "Imagine being 21, fully passionate about what you're doing, living a healthy, abundant life, and striving towards your goals like your on Auto-Pilot Let's help kids today become like that!"

The plan in the next two years is to build a base of presenters and take all these views and condense them into ten key lessons for self-development. Presenters will then run ten week programs at schools after school and share these lessons through free, fun and interactive sessions with kids.

You can also help promote this is in many ways. As well as linking to it, sharing this with your friends and blogging about it, why not write a testimonial just like those in the yellow boxes on the website?

Remember, this is non-profit. Please hop on over to WhatSchoolDoesntTeach.com and share your thoughts.


Staflow! You’ve gotta visit this!

May 19, 2006

Check out my friend, Shilpa Unalkat at her amazingly new website: Staflow. I must admit, the logo is pretty impressive. Don't you think?

Shilpa released her first book, "Corporate Head, Spiritual Heart" early this year and I wrote a book review on it. I highly suggest you check it out. It'll treat you well in your life and career.

Read the Review and Get the Book!


Getting Aligned!

May 17, 2006

For the last few months, I’ve been affirming something that Catherine Ponder shared with me through her book. It reads, “everything and everyone prospers me now, and I prosper everything and everyone now!”

Since I begun affirming that, I’ve noticed that every single thing in my life is supported by something else in my life and affects it. Here are some examples:

– when I set up a seminar and logistic details for it, in just a few days, I had great ideas as to how to market it and I went for it. The way I realised was at a family dinner when something striked me and it had nothing to do with the seminar itself.

– I had a seminar a few Saturday’s ago called “Attracting Wealth” and the principles I shared, I have been living in my life for a while and they are reaping great success for me. Everywhere I look there’s a link back to it. At the time of preparing for the seminar, I felt the urged to revisit Steve Pavlina’s blog and he posted an interview with Marc Allen, and he shared the principles by which I’m living my life.

What it shows and assures me is that I’m guided by inner knowing or ultimate calling to perform every action that I do, and every single thing has a connection to everything else. It’s like living in true bliss.

Commit today to live the life you deserve by assessing each option, challenge, obstacle, problem, etc that you’re faced with. Put yourself in front of it and ask yourself whether it’s right for you or not. You may not even need to ask yourself, you’ll just be attracted to do it, or repelled from it. Follow that inner calling or instinct – it’ll be the right path, even if you don’t see it at first!


Nasty Money Habits

May 12, 2006

Ever seen the film "Groundhog Day" where Bill Murray keeps reliving the same day? Are you like Bill Murray? Do you keep making the same mistakes over and over? You'd be surprised how many do that in their financial lives! Make a conscious decision today to stop practicing your nasty financial habit and let this post be your inspiration…

Stop spending without a budget
Financial planning is not all about investments. It means saving, spending less and feeling more financially wealthy. All millionaires will tell you the same thing; spending without a budget, or over your budget is not good. Start keep tracking of what you spend so you know where your money is flowing. Decide how much percent of your total income can be spent.

Little bits all add up!
How many of you can add up every bit of spending you incurred buying a drink, sweets, coffee, nuts, glue, equipment, etc? Would the cost be large or small? This point refers to the first one above. Just ensure you track your spending and are within your budget.

Monitor Interest Rates
It pays a hell of a lot to keep up to date with what best interest rates are around. Organising direct debits or standing orders to various accounts can help build interest. And if you missed the opportunity to start from a young age with high interest savings, it doesn't matter – you can start now. Even do it for your kids and explain to them – they'll be real thankful later.

Paying everyone else and keeping what's left
This one kills! My motto is to always pay God (or higher source) first, then yourself and then any debts, etc that you need to pay. Paying God or your higher source can be looked at as tithing, or even donating regularly to a charity that hits home for you. Then pay yourself. If you don't know how much to pay yourself, how about somewhere between 5 – 20% of your income. Even more than that. As long as you feel it's what you deserve, ensure you get it.

By kicking the nasty habits of money and using the three laws I believe are best for attracting wealth which I share at seminars and through coaching, I have increased my finance by over 200% in the last few months with April being the best so far this year! I know it's not going to stop there as I move towards my million. (My million is not the ultimate goal; the ultimate goal is to increase the well-being of every person, one person at a time, however the million is one of the results from it).

What are your nasty habits of money? Please share them through the comments below so everyone who ever reads this can also improve continuously. You are rich!