Peace be upon you, beautiful people of the world, and Ramadan Kareem! My absolute favorite time of the year has come to revive the hearts.
This is the month in which God So Mercifully Guided me back to Him. It is the month in which the Quran was revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), a month full of blessings as we make our journey Home.
Man, it’s been a while…so much has happened since the last time we spoke! For instance, much of the world is under lockdown right now due to a microscopic virus that seems to have taken over our lives – COVID-19.
For many, like myself, this has become a time where we are “stuck” indoors and unable to see our friends, relatives, or go out and socialize like we used to. There are viral tiktoks (no pun intended) about waking up late, binging on food and Netflix all-day, and waiting anxiously on when we can return to normal.
Wait a minute, what normal?
Are we talking about the normal in which most of us rushed to work, came home exhausted, paid the bills and barely had any time for the things that matter…like family?
If we think about it for just a minute, maybe this time is a new opportunity. This is a chance to re-connect with our purpose of living.
This Ramadan, I will be journaling reflections. Today’s goes a little like this:
Chit-chat as usual, about the day…
Charity of the Day
Lesson of the Day
An Itty-bitty Homework Tip
Link to my favorite lectures and resources – I’ll just post these here and here.
Remember that listening to the Quran is a way to Allah’s Mercy, as the Quran states:
“So when the Qur’an is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy.”
Without further ado, let’s get started!
This quarantine, especially in Ramadan is also THE time to help ourselves by helping our communities! Feel free to shoot me a DM if you want charity ideas.
~30 Days of Giving~
*Ramadan VIP drive to deliver critical aid to Syrian refugees* via IAC
Donate a food package for $60 or 10 food packages or 100 food packages or donate any amount you prefer to this project (can even be $1).
*PLEASE* specify vip drive when donating using the link below.
If you are healthy and able, you can volunteer to deliver groceries to those in need. If you are at-home with kids, you can donate, even a dollar a day, to a worthy cause! You can slip a note into your neighbor’s mailbox. You can be that listening ear for your friend in her moment of need. You can share your thoughts and reflections.
If you are unable to do any of those things, you can always pray for the good of the world! 🙂
Before I get into the Ramadan lesson of the day, I have to mention that journaling daily, even if it’s only one line has been helping me process everything going on tremendously. There are loads of lessons to share, and this is just the start!
Since it is Ramadan, my friend recommended this excellent daily planner that will help us take full advantage of this blessed month, InshaAllah. Hope it helps you, and we can all share in the good deeds!
Day 1: Lesson of the Day
“…and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not those who waste by extravagance…”
[Quran: al-A’raaf 7:31]
This is a lesson I literally learned TODAY. How? Well, for the past several pre-Ramadan days, I have been experimenting with eating one meal a day, or the OMAD diet.
I have also done a water-fast for 30 hours (don’t try this without your doctor’s approval). Why, you may ask?
This quarantine, I have been using cooking and baking as therapy.
However, the thought of being addicted to anything, including food, did not align with my values.
So, I thought, I would discipline my brain to curb this addiction by limiting what I eat. This evening, after a modest Iftar of an odd number of dates (it’s sunnah :)), fruit salad and leafy greens, I felt UHHH-MAZING!!!
My entire family had eaten the traditional South-Asian fried foods, like pakoras and samosas, etc. Right after Iftar (time to break the fast) and prayer, they shared how they were super tired and went straight to bed! In fact, I’m on 3am-wake-up-for-suhoor duty right now, as we speak! Hehehe 😀
Point is, the clarity of thought I have had on a stomach that has not eaten its fill is unparalleled. When I look in the mirror, I see a pool of endless potential and capability in front of me. I feel stronger, more confident and sharper than ever!
The last time I felt this way was back in November, when I was actively watching my diet.
What better time to revive a forgotten sunnah, in a time of excess? My brain fog was cleared today because of eating less!
I had no idea that this was a Prophetic practice!
Guess what? Ramadan is the BEST time to start a new habit…or two.
In this month, as we deck our tables for Suhoor and Iftar, it is more important than ever to reflect on the words of our beloved, Prophet Muhammad (saw), who said:
“The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few morsels to keep him alive. If he must fill it, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink, and one-third for air.” (al-Tirmidhi –saheeh by al-Albaani)
Here’s another narration that hit it home for me…
Abu Juhayfah said:
“A man burped in the presence of the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) and he said: “Keep your burps away from us, for the one who eats his fill the most in this world will be hungry for the longest time on the Day of Resurrection.” (al-Tabaraani–Saheeh)
After hearing that Abu Juhayfah did not eat his fill until he departed from this world; if he ate breakfast he would not eat dinner and if he ate dinner he would not eat breakfast, and he said: “I have not filled my stomach for thirty years.”
This is a tried and tested principle. Last Ramadan, when Allah Called us to His House for ‘Umrah, we were so focused on making the most of our time there that we ate whatever we could, in moderation.
This helped so so much to boost our energy levels for the 11+ mile journey and Taraweeh prayers long into the night!
May Allah Allow us all the opportunity to visit His House, soon! Ameen.
While we are grocery-shopping, preparing food or eating our meals in Ramadan during this pandemic, let’s take a moment to truly say Alhamdulillah. All praise and thanks is for Allah, The Lord of all the worlds.
In the good and what we see as the bad.
After all, we cannot change our circumstances. What we can change, though, is how we react. We can always take a minute to ask ourselves, “What is this trying to teach me?”
When we eat too much, not only does our body hurt, our spirit suffers as well. We are not as empathetic.
My homework (and yours, of course) is to try our best to eat the sunnah way: 1/3 food, 1/3 water, and leave a little room for air. Don’t eat until you’re full! And think of what you can do for those that are not as fortunate. ❤
I hope this reflection benefited you as much as it did me! Until next time, my dear friend…
I sincerely hope that all is going well with you, and your life is going better than planned.
There was this urgent message I just had to share with you, before bed – from friend, to friend.
It is because I care deeply for our mutual well-being that I write this. If you are at what you feel is the peak of your life, I’m elated for you! There is more success to come, God-Willing. Just remember, dear friend, that seasons change.
Every phase of life, both the hi-highs and the lo-lows, must be appreciated in two ways.
First, we should be grateful and praise our Creator and Sustainer in every circumstance. Alhamdulillah. All Praise and Thanks is for Allah.
Don’t forget that if were deprived of one blessing, such as the blessing of sight, or hearing, many of us would be unable to accomplish what we are so proud of today.
Our God is One God, and He Tells us, “…If anyone desires a reward in this life, We shall give it to him; and if anyone desires a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve us with) gratitude.” (Quran 3:145)
Second, there is always a lesson, a greater wisdom to be sought out within the beautiful springs, the harsh winters, and everything in between.
In Surah Fajr, Allah (Swt) Says that when a human being is given worldly success – prestigious degrees, wealth, fame, children etc., he thinks it is because he deserved it.
And the same human being, when tested with poverty, illness, or loss, claims that the same Lord Who Honored him has now humiliated him.
He turns his back on The Most-Loving, The Most Merciful.
What did this poor man forget? The bigger picture.
The bigger picture is this…
This world, with all its treasures is worthless.
Therefore, don’t compete with one another over the treasures of this world. They are so temporary.
This competition over worldly possessions makes you think that the treasures are yours. Truth is, nothing is yours.
When you die, someone else will inherit everything you worked so hard to acquire, and you will soon be forgotten.
If you want to compete, compete the Quranic way:
Every one pursues his goal. Compete with each other in performing good deeds. Wherever you are, God Will Bring you all together. Indeed, God Has Power over all things.
“Keeping up with the Joneses” will only distract you from your true purpose. It is a worthless pursuit, and someone will always have more.
All human beings are in loss, except those who are pursuing their purpose.
What is your true purpose?
To achieve complete peace by submitting entirely to the One, True God. He Is the reason for the unity in everything that exists – at a mathematical, physiological and biochemical level, and beyond.
Knowledge without action is not worth much. Once you realize your purpose, obey God by using the tools you have to do good, speak up for justice, whether it is against rich or poor, and be patient with a beautiful patience when things don’t go your way.
Nothing will make sense until you acknowledge this, and act on it.
You will keep running like a hamster on a wheel.
Put in enough hard work, and the so-called success will come running to you – the exotic cars, the multi-million dollar mansions, the luxury vacations. Everyone will want to be you…but in the end, you will lose.
Guess what? You were working for the wrong goal.
And you will feel it. Oh, will you feel it!
You will have gained the world, but lost your soul.
At that time, it will be too late.
The grave is a very lonely place, without your good deeds. That genuine smile, that helping hand, standing up for what’s right…really could have come of use right now. None of those riches can save you now. There’s nothing between you and God…the same God Who Called you every day of your life, with signs you could feel and see.
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children — like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion…[Quran 57:20]
Scary, isn’t it?
Thank God you still have time. To ask questions, to research, to discover the truth with an open heart. You just don’t know when that clock will stop. Life is too short, man.
That means, the best time to act is NOW.
This life is, plainly put, just a test. As long as we are alive, we are still sitting in the examination hall of our lives.
“The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things)“. [102:1]
Stop this mindless addiction, NOW. Shift the focus from having to your own being. What are you really here for? Ask those hard questions. Find your answers. Change the world by changing you.
Instead of asking why God Hasn’t Cured world hunger or stopped the senseless killing, do good yourself! And remember, the world won’t change until you and I change, my friend.
Take advantage of the spring – your youth, your steady job, your good health, your free time to support those who aren’t as fortunate.
Wake up earlier, write, volunteer, help the orphan, the uneducated, feed the needy…use your strengths to strengthen the world. Find a reason to unite, despite all the differences.
God Gave YOU the tools. He Made YOU, with a sound mind, body and soul, to solve the problems.
Use the tools you have to be a reason for someone to believe in the goodness of humanity again. Put that good human brain to use! It is a test, after all. Duh.
Sending Peace and Love your way,
-Your Ordinary Human Girl
P.S.: Be on the look-out for this week’s Spotlight Sunday post, highlighting the obstacles a female entrepreneur had to overcome to get to where she is, and the amazing work she’s involved in. Looking forward to your feedback!
And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for –
And that his striving shall soon be seen….
Peace be upon you, beautiful people of the world! Gather ’round, it’s story time!
This past week, I had been feeling a little shaky and unsure about my lofty career goals. Last night, I was hanging out with one of my mentors. She told me this incredible story, right when I needed to hear it the most.
The story was of a young man who rose from the slums to become a star. It was a story of perseverance and grit, under seemingly impossible circumstances.
God Knew when to give me that extra push – this was exactly what I needed. So here I am, sharing it with all of you, in the hopes that like it inspired me, it might inspire you, too.
Once upon a time, there was a little boy who lived in extreme poverty in a rundown neighborhood in Karachi. He had just moved from India during the Partition of 1947 (which divided India and Pakistan in one of the bloodiest wars ever).
He came to the realization that he could beat his circumstances through one way, and one way only: Education.
Right then and there, he decided that he was going to go to school, no matter what. This little boy went on to become a pharmacist, graduated at the top of his class, and got married.
This story doesn’t end here. Life, as we know, is quite unpredictable.
Circumstances were getting tough. It had reached the point that he could no longer live safely in Pakistan. He made another choice, under duress: he had to immigrate.
Where do you think he chose to run to? The Land of Opportunity, of course.
He landed in New York City and a few years later, welcomed a beautiful baby boy. At this time, he had a pharmacy degree from Karachi, but it was worthless in America.
He had to start all over again.
While married and with a couple of kids, he decided that he was going to go BACK TO SCHOOL. His interest had bloomed in medicine, and he believed he could make the impact he was looking for as a physician. Given that he had no U.S.-based education, he applied to medical school in the Caribbean and got in. Seems like smooth sailing from now on, right?
Nope. This poor man came home on break, and when he caught the plane to return for classes, he found out that his school had shut down. His years of education had gone down the drain once again, or so it seemed.
At this point, his family was still on Medicaid. They received government assistance so they could keep their children fed.
He made an insane decision. This time, he would be flying to the Philippines to get his medical degree. We talk about never giving up, but it often sounds like a fairytale: this guy is the living, breathing example!
After three years, he received his M.D. from the Philippines. He returned to the U.S. to study for the qualifying exams to practice medicine here. He failed. Not once, not twice, but at least three times. What do you think happened to his degree? All that time, energy and money?
Once again, worthless.
One of his friends told him about a D.O. (medical doctor, but with different initials) program in New York. He researched into it, and found out that they were only admitting students of a certain ethnic background. He filed a discrimination lawsuit, and won! He was in!!!
The next four years were spent excelling at a rigorous medical curriculum. All these years later, something else had happened, too. While this man, now well into his 40s was completing residency, his own son was finishing up medical school.
This man’s children went on to become successful physicians. He opened up one, then two, then multiple practices all over the city. He helped his children stand on their own feet, and supported his nieces and nephews all the way to residency and beyond. He was, and continues to be a source of guidance and inspiration for generations.
As his son chimed in to share his part of the story with me, his face beamed bright with pride. What a story. What a dad. What a life.
And when I asked him the secret to success, despite tremendous obstacles and “failures,” he replied…
Lesson of the Day:
If you really want it, don’t Take NO for an answer.
Awesome. What’s your part in all of this, Mish?
Well, I’m surrounding myself with greatness, in the form of successful mentors, and will elevate myself to belong to it – InshaAllah!
At the end of the day, your MIND is your greatest limit, my dear friend. No age is too late and no situation is too im-possible. There is no time like NOW.
Get out there and crush the heck out of your goals, even if you’ve failed a thousand times. Your effort, too, shall soon be seen.
P.S. Every week, I’ll be doing Spotlight Stories on successful entrepreneurs, business gurus, lawyers, doctors and more, so stay tuned. Many of these are my own mentors, for which I am forever grateful.
Peace to you, you and YOU too! I hope you’re just as excited as I am about this double blog-post day!!! Since Sunday, which is when I safely returned home, I have been bursting with stories and of course, pictures (!) to share with you about my incredible journey over the past few weeks. I don’t want to bore you with a laundry list.
*I just want you to spare FIVE minutes to quickly scan through the TOP 5 LIFE LESSONS this trip has taught me. Focus on the bold parts!*
Also, yes, I will naturally update this post with pics by 9pm tomorrow! Stay tuned.
There is a huge difference between those who claim to be Muslim and true Islam.
Don’t judge Islam by the lavish lives of Muhammad bin Salman or the Crown Prince of Dubai.
If you are serious about discovering the truth, go cleanse your heart first.
Then, all the rules and rituals will make sense. Allah (Arabic Name for God) Has Created the heavens and the earth with the Purest Form of Love. We are doing such a grave injustice by reducing Islam to rituals while forgetting the reason why.
In Turkey, I noticed that the majority of the citizens I encountered are devoid of faith in a place with SO MUCH Islamic history. Although they say “MashaAllah” and have intricate artwork of Allah (God) and His Last Prophet (peace be upon him) everywhere, their hearts are empty. They have forgotten the lessons their ancestors (the Ottoman Empire) left behind. It seems this is because religion is forced on them.
It’s not like the U.S. where we can openly choose. This is exactly why my heart bleeds red, white and blue.
People are not who they appear to be on the outside.
I’m a naive little girl, but this trip has really adjusted my lens – pun intended! I typically believe that there’s no reason to doubt what anyone says. In Istanbul, the most important thing for the majority of locals is business.
This is largely the case in the world, as well. They may seem like the nicest people. They start by offering you some tea, and asking where you’re from – you don’t have to tell them.
They sniff you out, and devise the best way to bait you. Just be polite, and don’t get sucked into their sales tactics. Once your money is gone, there’s no getting it back! Also, don’t hand out your social media or God Forbid, WhatsApp to ANYONE. No, thankfully, I was not the victim of such a scam, but it was narrowly avoided! Alhamdulillah.
To have the most fun, STOP caring about what anyone else thinks…but God. Stop trying so hard to fit in.
With all the love, no one really cares. The best memories I made were when I ignored what people would say and just went for it. That kind of confidence is almost intimidating to most people.
Keep it simple, sweetheart!
This one is pretty self-explanatory and specific to trip-planning. Don’t overpack, don’t overspend and don’t over-extend. Make a budget, and stick to it. You’ll probably end up wearing 1/4 of the things you packed, and using none of the calamine lotion reserved for trips to the Jungle.
None of this glitz and glam lasts forever. Dubai was the “before” pic. Turkey is the “after.” Do the work on the inner you before decorating the outer you for massive success, or you will always be empty.
Since I went to Istanbul first, I saw, firsthand the sultans that were fed with spoons of gold…withering away in their lonely graves.
If this world was meant to be Paradise, there would be NO death.
Oh, and the sultans could make the sun rise and set when they wanted. But alas, they couldn’t…because they are not God.
The palaces, which is where these sultans lived (and sometimes, died) – from Topkapi to Dolmabahçe were absolutely insane!
To think, these people created such fantastic infrastructure over 500 years ago. This was mind-blowing. We think we’re the most advanced…I guess there were many before us that thought the same.
BTW, it was this extreme extravagance that caused the eventual bankruptcy of the Ottoman Empire and their decline.
This same display of wealth is what I witnessed in Dubai. I mean, people were forking over $10 million bucks for a number on their license plates!
It was all a huge competition of who had more in their hands. The entire focus was on materialism, instead of spirituality and nurturing the minds and hearts. More, more, more.
And yet, they were never satisfied.
It’s exactly like Surah Takathur. Mind you, this is a majority Muslim nation and these are all Muslims. Remember, Muslims are NOT Islam.
Anyway, that’s about all the wisdom I got for now, he he! I’m super excited about the start of the new year and new decade. I’ve been preparing myself by making TODAY my Day 1, instead of waiting for a new year. This year, as I strive to master the biggest goal of discipline, I have secondary goals as well:
To talk less and listen more
To manage my time and money better
To keep getting over the fear of failure as a 2nd generation immigrant
Peace be upon you always, you wonderful human, you! Oh gosh, where are my manners? How are you?! I’ve missed you sooooo much.
I miss writing you letters and venting to you and sobbing over your comfy shoulder. I miss it all. So obviously…I am back!!! Someone cue the welcome pahhh-tay!
Where the heck did you come from, Mish? Catch us up, immediately.
OK, remember the epic trip I told you I was “embarking” on in my last post? Well, I just arrived home, safe and sound, alhamdulillah. I may have gotten over the jet-lag (with 14 hours of sleep in one day). Meanwhile, I’m still trying to move on from the insanity of the incredible sights and experiences…
I will dedicate a separate post to all the things I wish I knew and MAJOR life lessons I learned. What’s better than that? I’ll have it up in the next 12 hours – by 9PM EST, promise!
For those who are curious about my challenges and how I fared on the trip, here’s a quick update. I found out that the 5am routine is universal, across time zones, and have been waking up at 5am since I got back. I refuse to give up on myself.
Anyway…the point of this article was to share the #1 goal all of us millennials have to crush, obliterate, annihilate, absolutely destroy in 2020…if we crave success with every fiber of our being, that is.
What is that goal?
OK, bear with me. We will hustle to end on a dramatic note.
One of my role models wisely said:
“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”
This is so true. If we master the art of discipline, we can do anything. We can achieve anything, BE anything!
With discipline and faith, the world is ours to conquer.
Let me illustrate this to you, before your attention wavers:
Discipline is what stops you from taking one more bite.
Discipline is the hand that tugs you out of your bed when all you want to do is sleep.
Discipline is what drags you to bed at grandma-o-clock because you have a goal to achieve.
Discipline is when you get up after 1 episode instead of wasting your entire night, and eventually, your entire life on Netflix.
Discipline is how you control yourself from spending a single dollar beyond your budget for that shiny new toy.
Discipline is why you start studying for an exam weeks in advance, instead of procrastinating, because you know you need the extra time. Little bites are easier to digest than gobbling, naturally…
Discipline is when you STOP delaying till tomorrow, and start Day 1 NOW.
Discipline is the reason why you sacrifice SO much for the sake of a dream only you can see.
Discipline is how empires are made and sustained. And it is the eventual lack of discipline that brings them down from the sky to buried beneath the ground.
Discipline is the practice of zeroing in on the ultimatedelayed gratification.
Because you know there’s something FAR GREATER at stake.
You sacrifice some pleasure in the now for what lasts forever.
For my fellow Muslims, what do you think Salaah (prayer 5x a day) is trying to teach us? DISCIPLINE. It is not a mere ritual.
It is meant to propel your entire being…mind, body and soul into submission. To The Only One Worth Submitting to.
For true success in this life and the next, you must MASTER discipline. Get that through your head, right now.
Wow. What a talk. So how exactly do you get on that level, Mish?
It’s simple, really.
Just take the first step.
Then keep repeating that good habit, again and again.
And yet, again.
Until it becomes a part of who you are.
Who cares how many times you fail?
Lesson # 2:
Heck, do something different. Be excited about making mistakes. That’s how you’ll know you’re trying something new. Progress is being made.
Lesson # 3:
Stop caring what other people think.
My dear friend, the hard reality is: No one is thinking about you. Everyone is too worried about themselves. Be your OWN #1 Fan, starting now.
Maybe another quote by a hugely successful entrepreneur will hit this baby home:
The trick to success is to choose the right habit and bring just enough discipline to establish it.
Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
That discipline is how YOU will change the world. Yes, of course, it’s possible. After all, it was little humans just like you who mustered up the discipline to change. By changing themselves, they transformed history.
At the end of the day, you have a choice to make: Do you want your name to disappear along with the countless others who didn’t have the discipline to make their dreams come true?
Or, do you want to be one of the chosen few…someone whose name is forever stamped in history?
Whatever you do, make sure you’re not lying in your grave with the burden of regret. Here lies the girl (or guy) with so much potential, they will say...
May Peace follow you everywhere, you beautiful human being!
Let’s start with a quick story ‘cuz that’s how we do.
I’ll give you a minute to grab your green tea and snuggle up. Psssst…make sure to sweeten with natural honey, not sugar! It’s healthier…and tastier.
Cozy now? OK, let’s begin.
When I was an itty bitty girl not too long ago, my mama would take me every week to my favorite place in the whole wide world – the Flushing Library. That is when I first fell in love with books.
It is this love of books that led me to publishing poetry as early as the 5th grade. The same love of books is why everyone I know (and their brother…) asks me to give their essays that finishing touch – whether it’s for a school paper or an admissions essay for residency (the first real job for graduating medical students).
And also, it was that love of books that made me a kid expert on the lives of the most notorious serial killers in history. I was a huge Ann Rule fan. Moving on…
As great as all those “accomplishments” sound, guess what? There came a point in my life, during college, when I stopped reading. *Pause to let audience gasp.*
Of course, I still read Yeats and Keats, Whitman, Poe and Hughes. I pored over the intricate works of Tolstoy, Kafka and Dostoyevsky. I even learned how to pronounce all of their names correctly – a major accomplishment, might I add…
I didn’t read for fun anymore. That same girl who stayed up past curfew, long into the night, to read Harry Potter with a flashlight under the covers…disappeared. Poof.
And they say college is supposed to encourage creativity…
Not going to blame anyone but myself, though. Remember? No excuses.
Recently, something changed. Before the full Awakening 2.0 hit me, I stopped by a Barnes and Noble. Instead of spending money eating out that day, I chose to invest in a few fiction books. I missed that feeling of being lost in all my imaginary worlds…
Before, I would tell myself I didn’t have the time to read. Now, I push myself to make the time. To create that time. You are your own limit, after all.
For your kind information: Being a member of the 5AM Success Club is a huge reason I am able to read to my heart’s desire, on most days. When I’m not up as early, I just can’t find that quality of time later in the day. The best feeling is when I walk AND read, both at the same time. This way, I get so much closer to my new 15K steps goal AND expand my mind. Two for the price of one – score! I stop every now and then to highlight and take notes, though, which is a MUST.
Going Back to the story…
Along the way, there came a point when I transitioned from fiction books like The Stolen Marriage to my first ever self-help book: The Power of Resilience. This happened shortly after I created my instagram page for change – a way to hold myself accountable in front of the world at-large.
This particular book had been gifted to me by a wonderful mentor, over six months prior to this ground-breaking event. Yet, I never chose to invest the time for it.
After reading a couple of pages, I left it to gather dust on my nighstand. That’s figuratively speaking, by the way. I am OCD when it comes to cleanliness. Anyway…
For the first time in my life, I didn’t think, “Oh I failed so many times, what’s the point of trying anymore?”
I threw those self-limiting beliefs in the trash-can where they belonged and moved on.
When I picked up this book with a fertile mind, it was as if I was reading it for the first time. I could physically feel new connections being made in my brain.
This book was the gateway to my self-help journey.
Never forget: What you seek is seeking you.
OK Mish…sooooo inspiring. What should I DO, though? What happens next?
I am going to share with you the #1 Book that will change your life, TODAY. And a couple of others when you are done with the first. For free, of course! 🙂
If they help me, they can definitely help you.
And if I positively impact even a single soul (that includes myself!), I will have achieved my life’s goal.
Infinite potential lies within every one of us.
Just keep in mind that NO BOOK will help you until you unleash that potential and HELP YOURSELF.
Tony Robbins says that “complexity is the enemy of execution.” So, I’m not going to bore you with an endless list.
If there’s one book you should start with, pick #2 on the list and get reading!
BTW, here is the full audio link to my #1 pick for motivation + action: 7 Secrets to Wealth and Happiness.
Looking back, Jim Rohn would be my initial pick, then I’d move onto Brian Tracy for reinforcement. Jim Rohn has practical tips to help you take action and change your life TODAY. Make sure you do the exercise for goal-setting!
That reminds me, have you started your *journal* yet?
Alright, gotta go – peace!!!
-Your Ordinary Human Girl
P.S. I’ll link more audiobooks this weekend so you can listen on the go, no excuses. Also, I leave Sunday night for my trip – woohoo!!!
Peace be upon you, my incredible, beautiful human! My heart is bursting with love. Yet, not too long ago…(actually just this morning), I was so ashamed of my failures that I could not look at myself in the mirror.
So I did something radical. I wrote myself a letter.
And yes, I read it to myself in the *powder room* mirror, with dramatic facial expressions and lots of poise. I am a lady, after all – even when I’m upset. Brace yourself, here goes…
Lesson of The Day:
You can have everything you want, but you can’t have it all at once. Take the humble pill, baby. Prioritize.
Yes, I call myself baby a LOT…I mean, who else is going to hype me up?! Also, low-key, I am a baby so…
I know. Things are not going so well. You did a fantastic job for 3 weeks, with some blimps here and there. You didn’t let those hold you back.
But this past week, there were a couple of days when you abandoned the 5am success club. You chose to stay up later than planned, and kept stretching it. You ate later than planned, too. The food made you lazier, and made you sleep more. As a result, you woke up later and had less time to read, grow and BE who you want to be.
No, I am not here to beat you up because you failed.
At least you acknowledge what you did wrong and WHY. Let’s diagnose and treat, baby! We have potential to fulfill. We have a life to create. We have goals to achieve. Time is running out.
I am here to tell you that you WILL succeed BECAUSE you failed. Like the sun, you WILL rise again.
I love you so much, baby girl. Forget about those little failures for a second.
Think of how far you’ve come since Day 1.
Think of where you were. Even on your off-days, your wake-up time now is hours earlier than it used to be. I am SO stinkin’ proud of you! This IS change.
Don’t try so hard to be perfect all the time.
That’s the enemy of success. There’s no such thing as perfect. Just better.
Let your guard down but ONLY in front of Your Lord. It’s ok to have a sob-fest, but ONLY in front of God, in sujood. HE Will Raise you from the lowest point on the ground to the heavens, if He Wills.
Keep up the journaling. Keep writing everything down – from the little successes to the epic failures. And baby, writing’s not enough.
You have to learn from them. Use a new approach.
You know what to do.
Don’t blame anyone but yourself. Be honest about what you did. Come clean with me. Make no excuses.It’s only going to hurt YOU if you do…
Don’t repeat those same silly mistakes, now that you know better.
Success does not happen overnight. It happens when you change your every night. Little habits, over time, will make you successful.
And yes baby, you WILL succeed. So get the heck back up, and try again smarter this time! Whatcha’ waitin’ for?!
Day 1 IS today. You’ve faced the consequences, and you don’t want those feelings to overcome you again. You want to fail better next time.
So keep writing. Keep trying. Keep living, my love.As long as you have life, you have hope. So, give it all you’ve got – bat that bad boy out of the park! Let’s GO!!!
I love you SO much that I’ll wipe those tears away. I’ll give you that pillow bear-hug. My baby.
Always remember to love yourself enough to forgive yourself.
If you’re dirty, you take a shower. It would be downright silly to say…oh well, I’m so dirty, there’s no point anyway. So move on…
Set your goals, frame your goals, BECOME your goals. Then what?!
Let’s try to do even better. Set new goals, bigger goals. Anything is possible, because Allah Guaranteed that He WILL Help you…when you help yourself.
“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, Ihsan (goodness and excellence). His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship…” [Qur’an 46:15]
Peace be upon you, my beautiful human! Oh my gosh, I almost didn’t write this article tonight! I was so engrossed in my trip planning and kept pushing it off; this is a weakness I am working to overcome. It took a tremendous amount of willpower to force myself to open up my site and just start writing – no excuses. So here I am.
Let’s Chit-chat: Just if you’re curious BTW (like moi), I did finalize some itty-bitty details for my upcoming trip. I’m so excited that I’m pretty much giddy – it still feels like a dream!
Another side-note before we move on to today’s topic: I will continue to include words in different languages with their meanings linked as it is one of my passions!
OK I promise, last thing, just so you know how hard I’m working: I am sitting here, by my kitchen counter, typing away into the night. But not just that…I’m multi-tasking today – hah!
How? Well, my mom always tells me that I have to learn to stand up straighter since I’m already so close to the ground (barely 5’2 but who’s counting…).
So, to resolve this slight issue, I ordered a posture corrector from Amazon during the Cyber Sale for $12.99! It was a great deal, monetarily, but..Oh.My.GOD. It hurts. Badly.
As you know, this blog is all about crushing my bad habits. The only thing currently being crushed is my spine.
Yes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is quickly becoming my life’s motto. And yes, I crack myself up, too. He he.
OK, after that teeny tiny tangent, let’s dive right in. I have only 15 minutes – I’ll explain everything later.
This article began with a quote from the Qur’an. It is one of the many verses that emphasizes the importance of being the best to your parents, regardless of how (you think) they are to you.
Then, among your parents, your mother has a higher ranking because she gave birth to you, fed you and raised you – at least, in most circumstances. After all, God’s Love is compared to a mother’s love; God Tells us He Is Far More Loving than even a mother is to her child.
OK Mish, how is this related to your journey? Did some moms bribe you to write this article…?
I’m loving these highly intellectual questions! It’s all connected, I promise.
In fact, this is directly in touch with how we ended on Tuesday. I shared that it was my incredibly strong-willed desi mama who saved me from becoming a sufi fakir.
When I discovered The Truth, it was like I was floating in the clouds. There are no words that can do justice to those indescribable feelings. If you search up convert to Islam stories on YouTube, like this one or this one, you will hear similar experiences.
When The Truth enters your heart, you feel complete. Everything it has been searching for is found. Forget being crazy in love, you are high on Love. All you breathe is Love.
“O you who believe! Respond to (the call of) Allah and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.” [Qur’an 8:24]
Your inner light combined with that Divine Light…God, it’s like explosive fireworks on the 4th of July in Herald Square…but way, way better. There’s nothing like it in the universe.
Going back to my story, I have to mention that I didn’t have a teacher through this journey. So in my ignorance, I thought that God Wanted me to retreat to the mountains -somewhere far away from the corruptness of humanity. My sole duty would be to worship Him, day and night.
I didn’t care about money, or a job, or where I was going to live…I was ready to completely abandon all worldly pleasures to Worship Him in solitude.
I was a teenager, ok! A naive, little teenager.
THANK GOD FOR MY MOTHER.
Mama, my first teacher, made me realize that, with all due respect to monks, becoming a sort-of monk is not what God Wanted from me.
In the Qur’an, in Surah Hadid: Verse 27, Allah Says, “And We placed in the hearts of those who followed him [Prophet Jesus (pbuh)] compassion and mercy and monasticism, which they innovated; We did not prescribe it for them except [that they did so] seeking the approval of Allah.”
Furthermore, she brought to my attention something crucial that I had forgotten in the heat of the moment. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was NOT a monk. He lived his life among the people, and changed society from within.
Not only was he (saw) a spiritual leader, he (saw) was also a teacher for every walk of life – manners to finance, relationships to military.
It was then that it dawned on me! It’s so much easier to retreat in solitude to worship God.
Isn’t it, then, infinitely harder to stay among the people while worshipping Allah?
Isn’t it that much more difficult to actually implement those beautiful teachings from the Qur’an and Sunnah within society?
To work hard, to crush your ego and try to revive kindness to neighbors, taking care of orphans and just smiling at your fellow humans?
How can you achieve that, living in solitude?
Yes, people will taunt you and ridicule you. No, they will not immediately listen to you, and some never will.
Even if all you’re spreading is love and compassion, you will still have enemies.
That’s the way it’s always been – you can’t make everyone happy. And guess what?
That’s not your job.
The Prophet (saw) himself went through the harshest of times; there was an instance when the children of a city threw rocks at him until his (saw) blessed feet were bloodied.
Allah Says, “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” [Qur’an 21:107]
So, this Savior of Humanity, the Prophet (saw) was always smiling, despite the harshness of life. He was the kindest, the most generous, the most compassionate human being of all time.
He never denied anyone an ask. He never let his ego dictate his actions. He was a walking Qur’an.
My heart almost gets torn out of my chest when I hear of these stories.
I am striving to be more generous, more loving, more forgiving, more gratefulto my fellow human beings, even when it’s hard…especially when it’s hard.
And isn’t that what the test is all about?
-Your Ordinary Human Girl
P.S.: OMG. Only 2 more articles left until Turkey+Dubai!!! I actually have to pick my mom up, even though it’s past my bedtime. Although I was a little reluctant in the beginning, my annoying habit of data analysis saved me. I found out that when I pick her up at night, I always manage to get VIP entry into the 5am Success Club! I love my Mama to the moon and back, my most precious gift from God. Allahu Akbar (God IS Greater). Gotta go, peace!
Hey there, you beautiful human! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as they say – Happy Holidays!
I hope you use this time, before the year’s end, to reflect deeply on your current self and make a tough decision. YOU, and only you have this special power to choose.
Do you want to be like the no-name caterpillar who stayed in his cozy cocoon (nerd term: chrysalis), never to be heard of again? Or, do you want to be like the caterpillar who leapt out of his comfort zone to morph into the world’s most beautiful butterfly?
Tough decision, I know. I’ll give you some time. By the end of this article, you should have made your choice. I’m being more than generous here – you’re welcome.
Now, before you embark on your own metamorphosis, as I know you will, let’s catch up.
As promised last week, I am finally about to share the second part of Mish’s Metamorphosis, a.k.a teenage me’s journey to finding herself…by finding God. Heavy stuff.
I won’t launch into my next novel just yet, though. We need our chit-chat time, our spill-the-tea time…you know how it is. So, let’s begin.
First of all, for the sake of my soul, here’s some blatant honesty. I am not going to make excuses. I just have so much piling up on my to-do list, and it’s almost overwhelming. There are less than 2 weeks left until my trip to Turkey + Dubai and I have not finalized our hotels or tours YET. Yes, I am 100% freaking out. I thought the holidays were supposed to be relaxing. Who knew that…
You can have everything you want, but you can’t have it all at once.
In order to fix this weakness, I am reading Jim Rohn’s guide to Time Management. He shares some excellent strategies on how to properly budget your time. For example, one of the most profound lessons I am learning is:
It doesn’t matter if the president calls…you’ve got to shut everything off and have dinner with your family.
He goes on to say that living in the moment, and being present in whatever you are doing NOW, is key to finding fulfillment. It is also crucial for nurturing your relationships and achieving that coveted work-life balance. This is especially true in today’s age of much distraction.
So if you’re reading this article, just do it – start to finish. Then, move on to whatever else is on your list.
The longer you delay it, the longer it’ll take you to complete it and the higher your stress levels will be. Just do it, now.
Bottom line? For me, I could have delayed writing this article, what with everything else. But I set a time aside every Tuesday and Thursday for my writing, and I owe it to my integrity to stick to it. That’s not all…I have some exciting results to share with you.
I promised to keep you updated, remember?
Since I’ve been part of the Miracle Morning Club, so much more time has opened up for me. I have been doing more reading and writing than I’ve done in the past year, I weigh as much as I did in high school, and my vision for my dream future is starting to feel possible. Overall, I feel so positive and full of life.
Don’t believe me? Check out my live struggle here.
Honestly, I haven’t regretted waking up earlier ONCE. Yes, it has been tough, and yes, I’ve failed a few times. What has made this time different? I’ve refused to give up PAST the 1-week trial period and in doing so, it has miraculously gotten easier.
It’s such an amazing feeling that I’m just sitting here, by myself, smiling about it – it’s like a time-machine! I can’t wait to re-start the day tomorrow, God-Willing. There is so much to learn, so much to see, so much to do and such less time.
It’s real, you guys and psssst…there’s no membership fee…besides your very own, homegrown sweat, blood and the occasional tear…ugh, who am I kidding, the sob fests are a daily occurrence. But no pain, no gain, right?! Now that’s what I call a Black Friday steal!
Ahhhhh…the moment of truth is finally here! *Goosebumps.* Let’s begin, shall we?
It was the 27th night of Ramadan. I just couldn’t do it anymore. The burden had become too much to bear on my own. The weight of my heedlessness and the desperate need for a Divine Answer pressed into my chest, nearly crushing my ribs. I couldn’t breathe.
For the first time since I was a child, my body was soaked in sweat and tears. Every part of my fragile humanity ached with fear. This fear was compounded only by the burning pain. It was the pain of longing, as I soon came to find out. And it was in this moment of intense suffering, that Allah Chose for me to finally meet My One True Love. It was finally time to come home.
We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. [Qur’an 41:53]
It is something you truly have to experience to believe. And you cannot experience it until you come seeking with a sincere heart. Another piece of 20-something-year-old wisdom for you:
All people are created good.
You see, we all have this glass around our hearts – the light of our very being. When we choose to go against our good nature, and do something we know is wrong, a black spot forms on the glass. Over time, as the spots pile on, the glass becomes tarnished. Can a lamp’s light shine through a dirty glass? Well, no…at least not until…
YOU LEARN TO POLISH THE GLASS.
How? Follow up the bad with the good. It’s as simple as it sounds. Hurt someone’s feelings? Go apologize. Did something you knew was wrong in secret, only hurting yourself? Turn back to The Ultimate Reality, repent, do istighfar. Watch how your life turns around when you were hanging on by a thread.
THIS is the sure-fire way to connect with Divine Light. THIS is the road to true Enlightenment.
You don’t need a priest or an imam or a rabbi.
It’s just you and Allah, like it’s always been – with no one in between. Come back to Allah with a humble heart. Just come Home.
At the end of the day, I strongly believe that all human beings are inherently pure. They just have to reach inside and polish the glass. That’s a choice. The burden of that choice is on YOU.
-Your Ordinary Human Girl
P.S.: Thursday’s article is going to delve into how this go-hard-or-go-home gal wanted to move from NYC to some exotic foreign land and become a sufi fakir. Of course, my incredibly strong-willed desi mama pulled me out of my reverie and made me realize that becoming a monk was NOT what God Wanted from me. I had another mission…