The Biggest Lessons of 2020 Are Here.

On the eve of the New Year, I sit down to reflect. Here’s to the best year yet, guaranteed.

Peace be upon you, beautiful human being! Brimming to the core, with such raw potential…it’s breathtaking! So, it’s New Year’s Eve and naturally, your time to reflect on everything that has been. Your time to carve out the vision for your life, moving forward. Here, I’ll go first…

Wow. What a year. It seems surreal that we are here, together, as the sun sets on the last day of 2020. My heart aches for the tremendous losses that we have suffered, and yet…it beats with renewed hope for what seems to be the best chapter yet.

Looking back at how massively my life has changed over the last twelve months, I have to share some secrets…especially since no year has ever had such a tremendous impact on my quarter-century-career-of-being-a-human. I’ll try to keep it short, but you know how it goes… (phD thesis incoming…!!!)

P.S. If there’s anything this year has taught us, it’s that life’s way, way too short to not start trying these right away!

The most transformative lesson for me has been…

Quran 14:7

1. Gratitude = Abundance.

This formula has been spelled out by The Most Generous Lord, Al-Kareem, Allah, Who Never Gets Tired of Giving. Start being grateful and watch the miracles unfold…

And of course, your Lord will give you so much that you will be pleased. (Quran 93:5)

Out of gratitude for all of your blessings, add service to creation into the mix.

Allah helps the servant as long as he helps his brother. (Sahih Muslim)

Want God Himself to be your business partner? Do this:

  1. Do the math. Figure out the % and who will get what in case the business is dissolved.
  2. Promise to never, ever, ever!!! betray one another (if working with a human partner)
  3. Think of + implement a way for human beings to benefit from your business…whether that means creating jobs for people in desolate lands, or making a product that reminds people of their true purpose.

This was the advice of Junaid Jamshed (may Allah Have Mercy on him)…who, after quitting being a famous musician for Allah, was left with no money.

He started his clothing business in such desperate conditions, and was given these gems by Mufti Taqi Usmani.

Now, he passed away in 2016, and yet, his clothing outlets…the business with just a good intention…has spread to all corners of the globe, South Africa included! Allahu Akbar! Allah Truly Is Greater.

There’s the miracle potion to your super-hero self…practically eternal youth, all the riches you can imagine, super-brain power…I’m not kidding. This is the exact recipe given to us by The Creator of all of Existence, 1441 years ago!

Dr. Joe Dispenza is all about this philosophy, when he discusses your role in “creating your future.” Remember, Allah Helps those who help themselves! Take control of your situation, today.

Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.

Quran 13:11

Change your mindset to one of gratefulness…for all the infinite, innumerable favors given to you. Would I be able to write this article if I didn’t have hands? Would prosthetic limbs do the job just as well? Reflect.

Not only does gratitude bring an increase in favors, like financial abundance…it takes your relationships to the next level. I mean, it literally changes your brain.

To Do: Start gratitude journaling, now. Before you go to sleep, reflect on one thing you are truly grateful for…from the heart. Something you might not think about often…something you take for granted…like your hands!

There, start now.

Make it a habit, 5 min. every night before bed…and 5 min. when you wake up in the a.m.

Watch your life, and your brain (literally) change. Just sharing the gems. Learn, earn, return…you know what they say. Alhamdulillah. TabarakAllah!

2. Be like an orange. Yup. You read that right.

“Not equal are the good deed and the bad deed…

Repel evil by that which is better, and then the one who is hostile to you will become as a devoted friend.

…But none is granted it except those who are patient and none is granted it except one having a great fortune.” (Quran 41:34-35)

There’s that word we love to see! Fortune! If you’re on the hunt for fortune, remember: be like an orange! As A. Helwa shares in her absolutely life-changing book, you have to change what is inside of you…the variable you can control. Be like an orange, my dear. When squeezed harshly or softly, you still overflow with orange juice.

You know what I learned this year? Forgiving those who insult you is the bare minimum. But next level, good-fortune character is “repelling evil with that which is better,” as the Quran advises us.

That means showing kindness and love to those who hurt you. Wish them nothing but the best, albeit on your separate ways. Don’t let ’em get to ya.

Who knows how much they are hurting…

The next time someone insults you and you respond…look back at your reaction. Was it like an orange? Or was it a bitter melon?

Look in the mirror, fix the inside.

Heal yo’self.

Be an orange, baby.

3. Try new things! Jump! Just do it.

One of the top regrets of human beings across the globe seems to be living a life that was too routine…too boring.

So, I say, break free from the shackles! Try new things!

Unveil that innate curiosity.

Feeling stuck with work or your relationships?

Go explore nature, paint the sunset, revive that love of calligraphy, belt out those glass-shattering tunes, scuba-dive…or sky-dive, write that book, start that business, back-pack to the other end of the globe, dude!

Or it could be as simple as changing your diet, or just…

Read, read, read! (IQRA)

Stretch the horizons of your mind. That’s how you prevent Alzheimer’s.

There’s such less time, and so, so much to learn!

Open. your. mind.

Just do it already!

You’ll always regret what you didn’t do. This is your sign. YES. You will succeed.

Just do it.

Read, read, read! Never stop learning, never stop asking why! Don’t get caught up in the pay-yo-bills-eat-yo-pills biz. 

Think the creativity has dried up? My dear, the water does not flow until…

You turn the faucet on!

Submit to that calling, way more powerful than anything else.

OK, so quick summary:

  • Be grateful + be of service (time + material goods): key to abundance. journal!!! (Power of the Pen)
  • One good intention is like a seed of corn: key to limitless blessings
  • Renew your intentions everyday: re-align your focus to your #1 goal
  • Be like an orange to all you meet: character is tested when you’re insulted
  • Never stop trying new things: Read, read, read! Take the leap! Get out of your pay-yo-bills-eat-yo-pills routine.
  • Positive vibes only, without a single doubt: your prayers have been answered. The future you want already exists. Alhamdulillah! All Praise and Thanks to Allah, The One Love…The Pure Love.
  • True Happiness = Service + Gratitude = Meaning of Life = Healing You = Healing the World

And the secret of secrets? Well, the secret, my dear, is to just…

Keep going.

When you make a mistake, don’t think…Oh, I’m such a failure, I keep making the same mistake. Fail better.

Think: I got through it before, I can do it again now. I’m made out of clay, and clay is, by it’s very nature…malleable. Here’s proof. Your Creator Said So.

When the high-hi’s fade, despite the low-lo’s, and everything in between…

Don’t you dare give up.

Don’t you know yet? It is your light that lights the worlds!

Rumi

Alarm: Life’s too short to stay pinned to the ground by these weights. Let go of everything that doesn’t serve your flight to the heavens! Let go of all that holds you down!

Leave that doubt – down on the ground, where it belongs.

Fly, my beautiful butterfly! Don’t hold yourself back!

See it, believe it, achieve it! The best days of your life await:

Indeed what is to come will be better for you than what has gone by.” (Quran 93:4)

You can do and be anything you wish to be!

It is time.

Go. Fulfill your destiny. 

P.S. What you seek is seeking you…(there’s the “law of attraction” in a nutshell).

To Our Most Successful Year in Existence.

Love,

Just Mishi

Your Ordinary Human Girl

Put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those that trust [in Him]. (Quran 3:159)

Enhance Your Memory, Change Your Life.

Do you struggle to remember things?

Peace be upon you, beautiful human being! Did you know? You are the only creature in existence that can use a qalam (arabic word for pen)! I mean, have you ever heard of an ape writing poetry?

Why is that important? Because I am going to share with you how using your pen, an ability that is uniquely human, can change your life today.

Do you forget things? Well, if you do, it would just be the “natural” (read: default) thing to do! The very word insaan (arabic for human) comes from nasiya, which means forgetful!

(In fact, so many of us have forgotten who we truly are, and where we came from…remembering where you left your keys is wayyy down the line!)

Pen…forgetfulness…and…?

Allow me. Shall we? So since we humans are inherently forgetful by nature, and we are the only creation that can use pens to write, we can….

*Drumroll, please.*

WRITE TO OVERCOME OUR FORGETFULNESS.

Ta da! There’s your solution.

We talk about it all the time…journaling, making checklists, post-it-ing (is that even a word?), but most of us don’t use the proper technique. So before your mom/brother/sister/husband/wife/friend/co-worker tells you…aw man, you forgot, again, let’s chit-chat about how to properly write things down so you never forget again!

1. Write.it.down. Don’t type it.

Numerous studies have shown that handwriting your goals, deadlines, checklists, notes, etc. activate certain cells in the brain that are responsible for your focus.

Once you’re focused, you are much more likely to remember the appointment on Thursday at 4pm, or folding the laundry that should have been done yesterday, or your mom’s recipe for goat karahi. *Drool.*

Did I really make this about food…again?!

Anyway….I’ll keep this super simple. Speaking of simple, make sure to keep your checklists S-I-M-P-L-E! 3 seems to be the miracle number. The more you clutter your lists with endless tasks, the more overwhelmed you will be…leading to getting nothing done, whatsoever!

Just two more steps, and you’re all set…promise!

2. Attach emotion to it.

If you don’t get it done, will it make you feel like you’re sitting on a burning green stove? Will you be floating on a bright yellow cloud when you help your sister with her homework?

Dramatic, I know, but our brains remember things that make us feel deeply.

We also fear consequences and hope for reward. Why does Allah (arabic word for God, Creator, Sustainer & Cherisher of the Universe) use parables of heaven and hell? Heaven is the ultimate reward, while Hell is the worst consequence! The One Who Created us Knows us best!

Use this to your advantage! Attach consequences, reward, bright, unusual colors, burning emotion (literally) while you write it down…do whatever it takes to get yourself back on track!

You are human after all, and your intelligence is malleable. As long as you breathe, there is hope for change!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

3. Take care of the inside.

I’m going to get all yogi on you, dude. No matter how much you try to fix the outside, it won’t last until, yes, you work on the inside, too! What does that mean?

It means you eat your vegetables. Especially the leafy greens. Heck, sauté that delish fresh, green broccoli in sizzling coconut oil, along with some organic eggs, and yup, a side of yummy, fresh guac! (No extra charge :))

Feel free to sprinkle some bright, orange turmeric over it for an added boost.

To reward yourself for your mouthwatering healthy eats, have a cup of organic blueberries ready, with some walnuts and black seeds on top! Did you know that walnuts look just like your brain? And it’s no coincidence that they’re great for your brain, too!

Wash it all down with 10ish glasses of water (trick your brain by using an extra large mug for it!). Before you know it, you’ll be solving more than just your memory problems! You will be a super-charged super-human. Diet is everything.

If you are a parent and want to push your kids to healthy eating, use this video. My students have been tremendously impacted by this after learning about the devastating effects of junk food! I even had a student swear to never eat junk again.

And don’t you dare forget, high-quality sleep is absolutely crucial. Make sure to eat 3 hours prior to bed, do NOT use electronics right before, and put your phone across the room while sleeping! Read up on the radiation issues, man. It’s serious business.

Now that I’ve shared my TOP 3 MEMORY ENHANCEMENT “pills” with you…

It is now time to reveal the long-awaited recipe that has revolutionized my metabolism and facilitated my weight loss!

*Major drumroll.*

And here it is, ladies and peaceful men…

The Miracle Yogurt Recipe.

P.S. If you are allergic to nuts, skip ’em! Replace them with sunflower seeds or chickpeas.


How to:

  1. In a bowl, add your cup of berries. Wash them and pat them dry to stop your yogurt from getting watery. Then, add your cubed yellow pineapple chunks.
  2. Add 7 almonds and 1/4 cup of walnuts (or a handful of sunflower seeds if you’re allergic).
  3. Throw in your squishy, delish-y medjool date!
  4. Drizzle 6 verrrrrry thin drizzles of raw organic honey, in circular motions. Numbers are important!
  5. Sprinkle a dash chaat masala + a pinch of black seeds on top.
  6. Pile on your yogurt…the whole one darn cup of it!
  7. For my fellow Muslims: Say Bismillah, Salawat, mix and enjoy!

How can this be healthy if it tastes so good? That’s a comment I got from a 13-year-old who tried making the Miracle Yogurt!

You should try it too…make it a daily routine, and this little step may just change your entire outlook on food! (Hopefully…)

Disclaimer: Make sure to consult your doctor before making any significant dietary changes.

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

Paulo Coelho

Obviously, I’m not going to let you go without a book recommendation. Obviously. That would put my official bookworm title to shame. Trust me, this book can change your life…if you apply it.

It’s Limitless by Jim Kwik – the boy with the broken brain who grew up to…build an empire using his memory skills. Very powerful stuff. Please do comment below if you read it…I’d love your thoughts!

On that note, it is time to bid you a beautiful, restful night…farewell, my dear friend. Until we meet again.

So don’t you dare become hopeless. Don’t you dare say, “I can’t do it,” or “I’m so bad at it,” or “I’ve failed so many times, what’s the point?”

Open your eyes. Look around you, and see. Learn from the sun, who, after the darkness of the darkest night, rises once again…just like you, too, will rise.

Don’t you know yet?

It is your light that lights the worlds. ~Rumi

Stay faithful,

Just Mishi

-Your Ordinary Human Girl

Stop Being Afraid and Just Do It.

Just take the leap already, man. Just do it.

Dear Self,

I’m writing this to let you know it’s time.

What is it time for, you ask?

It’s time to STOP being afraid. It’s time to let go of that fear of success, or fear of failure and just jump!

Allah Will Forever Be there to Catch you, no matter what happens.

So, I say, it’s time.

Let go of everything. Embrace your inner butterfly.

The worlds are yours to explore. For you, Allah’s endless treasures are in store…

But only when you’re not afraid anymore. 🙂

“If Allah knows [any] good in your hearts, He Will Give you [something] better than what was taken from you, and He Will Forgive you; and Allah Is Most Forgiving and Eternally Compassionate.”

Quran 8:70

Love,

Mishi

Your Ordinary Human Girl

Welcome, Ramadan!

This is the greeting Muslims around the world are giving each other this Friday, April 24, as the Holy Month begins.

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:

  1. Chit-chat as usual, about the day…
  2. Charity of the Day
  3. Lesson of the Day
  4. An Itty-bitty Homework Tip
  5. 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.”

(7:204)

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.

Donate here.

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…

Salaam,

Just Mishi

Your Ordinary Human Girl

The Bigger Picture Is This.

Let God Take Care of your burdens, before your time is up.

Peace be upon you, beautiful human of the world!

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…

Lesson #1:

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.

Quran 2:148

“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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

If you want to read further, here are Eye Opening Words in the Quran Describing the Life of this World.

Lesson #2:

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,

Just Mishi

-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!

For Whoever Needs to Hear This.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider: Nursery Rhymes often have profound meanings.

And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for –

And that his striving shall soon be seen….

[Quran 53:39-40]

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 & Love,

Just Mishi

-Your Ordinary Human Girl

5 Epic Life Lessons In 5 Minutes

Me, looking over the Bosphorus River at the incredible architecture of Istanbul. The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia can be clearly seen from the water.

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.

Lesson #1:

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.

Lesson #2:

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.

Lesson #3:

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.

Lesson #4:

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.

Lesson #5:

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

Hope this helps!

So much peace and love your way,

Just Mishi

-Your Ordinary Human Girl

The #1 Goal All Millenials Must Crush for 2020 Success

It is discipline that led to the creation of monuments such as the Hagia Sophia (above). The quality of the picture isn’t great (Mama tried!), but gets the point across.

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?

DISCIPLINE.

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.”

Jim Rohn

This is so true. If we master the art of discipline, we can do anything. We can achieve anything, BE anything!

Lesson #1:

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 ultimate delayed 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?

YOUR CHOICE.

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...

Xoxo,

Just Mishi

-Your Ordinary Human Girl

The book that will change your life is…

Where learning begins…

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…

But…

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.

Take the first step.

So here it is (in order of purchase):

  1. No Excuses (Perfect Starter Book) by Brian Tracy
  2. 7 Secrets to Wealth and Happiness by The OG – Jim Rohn. *Pages 31-37 are PURE GOLD.*
  3. The Jim Rohn Guide to Time Management A teeny-tiny book. You can finish in under an hour. Can you tell I’m a huge Jimmy fan?!
  4. Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required Amazing examples from someone who came out on top after an incredibly harsh life.
  5. A MUST-HAVE for women by a female tycoon: Disrupt-Her: A Manifesto for the Modern Woman

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!!!

Sweet Dreams,

Just Mishi

-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!!!

When you fail, and you will…read this.

Let Success Make The Noise.

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…


Hey Baby Girl!

How you dooooiiin’? *Joey voice.*

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 repeat. Till your very last breath.

Lots of peace and love,

Just Mishi

-Your Ordinary Human Girl