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 & Love,
-Your Ordinary Human Girl