Mish’s Metamorphosis: Part II

A candidly-posed shot of me at The Met in NYC. The Awakening was underway…(I know, the tote bag really messes up the vibe…)

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…

Lesson #1:

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:

Lesson #2:

It doesn’t matter if the president calls…you’ve got to shut everything off and have dinner with your family.

Jim Rohn

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.

Lesson #3:

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.


سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ ۗ – 41:53

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:

Lesson #4:

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…

Final Lesson:

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.

Sweet Dreams,

Just Mishi

-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…

You’re in…now what?

A farmer carrying dry wheat after harvesting...we’re all farmers in the end. Question is, what are we reaping,…and why?

Life is too short,” she panicked, “I want more.” He nodded slowly, “Wake up earlier.”

~Dr. SunWolf

Alright beautiful humans, where do I begin?

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving!

We have much to be grateful for, no matter what situation we are in – even if we are in the middle of a war. Once we establish this “attitude of gratitude,” instead of asking “why me” in our current circumstances, we can start working towards the future of our dreams.

That sounded very inspirational. I have to admit, though, in the spirit of honesty – I did NOT want to write this article. In fact, I had to physically pull myself away from my books and my virtual shopping cart (all these insane holiday deals!) to honor my commitment to all of you.

Most of all, I had to honor my commitment to myself.

So here I am, putting pen to paper, and miraculously, the words keep on flowing. Hmmm, that brings me to…

Lesson #1:

Consciously and consistently putting in the effort is the KEY to achieving your goals.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of a single positive step. Of course, I might be panicking a little because my self-imposed deadline of 7PM draws ever the nearer, but I shall persevere.

Where did we leave off last Tuesday? Something about transforming your life, or whatever?

Sounds about right.

We were chatting about how waking up a few hours earlier than everyone else can truly change YOUR life. You don’t have to believe me…you can go and read countless books on the most successful people in history. Your research will take you all the way back to the olden days of Aristotle and Plato to modern-day Oprah and Bill Gates. Ben Franklin definitely makes the list, too. He’s the guy our moms were always quoting when we were ten and refused to wake up for school.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Benjamin Franklin

Ben knew what he was talking about!

The richest people in the world can buy whatever they want; however, they cannot buy time.

Since every second of time is limited and once passed, is gone forever, we must ask ourselves, “What can we do to expand the time we have and make it more meaningful?”

See, that’s called asking the right questions! You’re on the road to Enlightenment, I can feel it.

Now, to answer part of your question, Tuesday’s article suggested that waking up earlier, as early as 5am (!!!) would magically expand the time you have. How?

Well, by increasing your waking hours, decreasing your stress levels, and dramatically heightening your productivity, of course!

All those things you wish you had more time to do…guess what? Now you do, no excuses.

By now, you must know how much I love to quote my fellow celebrities, he he. To hammer this point home, one of our esteemed elders has said:

The difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning, for forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man’s life.

Philip Doddridge

Wait, can we just take a moment there? TEN YEARS?!

If my 20-something-year-old self starts waking up 2 hours earlier, when I’m a 60-something-year-old, I WILL HAVE HAD TEN MORE YEARS TO LIVE?!

Holy smokes. We’ve got no time to waste.

Buckle up your belts (or pajama strings, no judgment) and get ready for what’s next.


OK, so you’re in the 5am club. That membership card is looking extra spiffy. Against all odds, you’ve started waking up earlier, even if it has only been a day or two.

You’ve been feeling SO tired, though. Drained, in fact, and you cannot WAIT to go home and just cuddle with your pillow in your favorite comfort zone.

I get it – I’ve been there.

Beginnings are hard, remember? Now, you’ve got a choice to make, TODAY:

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

You don’t want to go into your grave with any regrets. It’s dark and lonely enough in there.

This is the reality. Don’t deny it. Face it, and prepare for it.


With all of this in front of you, my friend, you choose wisely, and pick the pain of discipline. I am crying happy tears right now! We are in this together.


So you ask, what on earth should I do to make this easier? How can I get the most out of my time instead of dreaming about my furry blankie while suffering from active caffeine withdrawal? I’ve got news for you:

I HAVE THE KEY. Shhhh.

And as you keep reading, I am handing it over to you. I told you, it feels like we’ve known each other forever. No wonder I trust you so much. In the spirit of true friendship, I even went ahead and made you a wake-up checklist here. If you’re in a time-crunch, just click on this link and the checklist is all you’ll need, for now.

As soon as the alarm rings and you throw away that blanket like it’s on fire, smile.

You are truly special. You have been given the chance to start over, once again. Many people die in their sleep. You have been chosen for life.

Take a moment to just smile and be grateful before the next, more aggressive step.

After crushing your checklist, and tucking your ALL-ACCESS Black Card into your wallet, go out there and conquer the day…

But First…(you already know what’s coming)…

CONQUER YOURSELF.

Sweet Dreams,

Just Mishi

-Your Ordinary Human Girl

P.S.: Random thought of the day that I will later journal about: Sometimes I forget that it took a village to bring me here. Whether they encouraged me or squashed my dreams, I owe it to every single teacher, friend and fellow human being on my journey, to live up to my fullest potential – just like a tree. Be grateful for your timeline, but take control and accept responsibility for everything to progress. Be grateful for your experiences, both good and bad. They are critical in shaping your character, in molding YOU.

Miracle Mornings for Muslims: All-Access Pass to the 5am Success Club

The sun rises again. Just like YOU will, today, before it does.
Human beings are the greatest creation of God – we have the power to CHOOSE.

May Peace follow you everywhere, you beautiful, limitless human being!

It’s your fave stubborn girl Mishi at it again. I know you (and I, both) expected Mish’s Metamorphosis Part II, and I sincerely thought about it. Then, I decided to postpone it till next Tuesday. There is something more urgent!

A handful of my friends have seen my wake-up challenge on instagram and were asking for tips. Waking up late was decreasing their motivation, productivity levels and overall satisfaction with their lives. This is what is was doing to my life, too. That is, before I discovered the key.

After sharing it with them, I feel it’s my responsibility to share it with the world. Why? A much wiser human than I is reported to have said:

A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.

Albert Einstein

OK, I have to admit, this is going to be a juicy article. If you want to change YOUR life, keep reading. If not, keep saying, “I hope I can do it one day,” and live with all of the regrets of those who made this fatal mistake before you.

A little harsh? Yes. A wake-up call is no joke…it’s a life-or-death situation, you have NO other choice. Stop fooling yourself.

Before reading any further, I want you to do something – for me, and for you. Take a minute and just…

SMILE.

Smile your heart out, my friend. For the Muslims out here, smiling is Sunnah. You’re adding to your bank of good deeds. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) had the hardest life in human history, and yet, he (saw) was always smiling. For all of us, studies show that smiling can literally trick our brains into happiness.

Don’t feel like it? Fake it till you make it, junior!

Now, you know how before you apply to college or grad school, there are some PRE-REQUISITES you have to complete? Well, if you want an ALL-ACCESS PASS to the 5am Success Club, I have two simple pre-requisites for you.

  1. Smile. God, you’re beautiful. You should do that more often!
  2. Shout it from the rooftop (or the shower, he he): “I WAS CREATED LIMITLESS! I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING MY DESTINY. THERE IS NOTHING (but me) THAT CAN STOP ME FROM LIVING MY DREAM LIFE.”

The human brain is a very tricky thing. You become who you think you are.

If you say things like, “I hope I can keep this up,” or “I don’t think I have it in me,” I have news for you:

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Remember, from the very first article? What you seek, is seeking YOU. BE your own hope. Make it happen, no excuses!

Now that we have our two pre-requisites in place, you are 100% ready to receive what’s next.

I have tweaked Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning – an incredible book, by the way – to include some tips specifically for Muslims. This is because a LOT of us Muslims face incredible difficulty waking up for our morning prayer, Fajr.

And yet, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The two Rak’ah before the dawn (Fajr) prayer are better than this world and all it contains.” [Muslim]

So, here’s what helped me (I have attached a worksheet here):

  1. Eat 2-3 hours BEFORE bed. This way, you won’t be lazy, biologically. Your stomach won’t be keeping you awake. You’ll wake up feeling energized – and hungry! 😉
  2. Make a mini to-do list of what you will do when you wake up at 5am. 3-4 items, tops. I’ll give tips on this in a follow-up article, on Thursday, so keep reading.
  3. Do one good deed before bed. Hug a loved one, and tell them how much they mean to you. If no one’s close enough to hug, send a nice message. If nothing else, set aside as little as $1 for charity. If you don’t wake up, make your last act a good act.
  4. GET IN BED EARLY, NO EXCUSES! If you want to wake up at 5am, you HAVE to be in bed by 10pm, latest. In fact, aim for 9:30pm. Tonight, when you start this, (and I know you will) it WILL be tough to fall asleep. Beginnings are always rough, but the human body adjusts. Be patient.
  5. Turn your ringer on. Set ONE alarm for 5AM. You have to get up, there’s no backup. Put your phone across the room, far enough from your pesky fingers.
  6. In bed, give yourself a mini-motivational speech that you WILL wake up at 5am: (inspired by Miracle Morning): “I’m going to wake up SO energized after 7 hours of sleep. Alhamdulillah (All Praise and thanks to God) for Granting me these 7 hours of incredible sleep. Seven hours is exactly what I need to crush my goals tomorrow! I was created limitless, I can do anything. I can’t wait, I’m so excited to wake up!!!” Smile again.
  7. If you have Instagram, post on your story: “In bed, see ya at 5am!” WITH A TIME STAMP. To Track your own progress and help others keep you motivated. Tag me on the #wakeupchallenge if you want accountability: @mishcanchange.
  8. For Muslims only: Once you’re in bed, all cozied up and holding your own hand, GET.UP. RIGHT.NOW. Once you’re up, get on that prayer mat you keep in your room.
    1. Fall into Sajdah – it doesn’t matter if you have wudu. Humble yourself before your Lord, The Most Loving. Bonus points: Go to bed with wudu, if you’re able to. If it breaks, Allah Knows you made the initial effort.
    2. Don’t make excuses if you can’t remember the salawat. Just try with what you have. You can say “Alhamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen. As salaam ‘alayka, ya Rasulullah sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” Bottom Line: MAKE THE EFFORT.
  9. Once you finish your sajdah du’a, get back into bed. Smile wide.
  10. Don’t you DARE touch your phone after that sajdah. No matter how hard it is to fall asleep. DON’T. DARE. Swear to yourself, if you have to. At that moment, your phone is a piece of iron in the fire, pun intended. DON’T TOUCH, OR YOU’LL GET BURNED. Literally.
  11. Smile again. While thinking about how amazing your 5am morning will be, drift away into a blissful sleep. Think of your grave. You don’t want to die with any regrets.
  12. Reminder: Don’t dare touch your phone after sajdah. YOU ARE IN CHARGE, NOT THE PHONE!!!
  13. Wake up at 5am, and motivate others on your Instagram story: “I made it! If I can do it, so can YOU!” Make sure there’s a time stamp, for proof. #wakeupchallenge
  14. Throw away your blanket like it’s on FIRE. Go out there and conquer the world

But first, conquer yourself.

Just Mishi

Sweet dreams,

Just Mishi

-Your Ordinary Human Girl

P.S. I’ll release the “What Should Be on your 5am To-Do List” article by Thursday – my updated schedule is two articles per week. If you don’t want to constantly re-load my site, subscribe for updates in real-time. I need your help just as much as you need mine. We’re all in this together.

We can all learn so much from each-other. That’s the whole point. Today’s Book Recommendation to get you jumpstarted before the next article:

Phenomenal Example of Limitless Human Potential. Despite a nearly fatal car accident, overwhelming debt, and cancer, HAL ELROD rose again!

I can’t do this alone.

Namib Desert, Namibia, Africa. Photo: Alamy

As I waved to my friends and disappeared quickly down the subway steps, I shook my head. Laughing to myself – or maybe it was at myself, I jumped on the 6 train right as the doors slammed shut, heart beating rapidly.

The year was 2014. It was the night before the blessed month of Ramadan. Before we parted, my friends and I had just reassured each-other that it would only be 30 days.

Thirty days before these late nights, being crazy teenagers, worrying our parents sick would be our reality again. And so, I had laughed at what I thought was our little secret.

Little did I know, we had not just parted. We had parted ways.

Little did I know, that Ramadan, my life would change…

FOREVER.


OK guys, as promised, your fave ordinary human girl is back – with a bang, literally. I might have banged my foot trying to rush downstairs and complete this article, he he. I’m trying.

All jokes aside, that little snippet is a memory that is distinctly at the front of my mind. I can remember it as easily as I can remember where I was the morning the twin towers fell.

Scientists call these memories flashbulb memories. Most of us ordinary humans can’t remember what we ate for breakfast the other day, or what we wore, let alone what was on our to-do list unless we wrote it down…see what I did there? Anyway…

These so-called flashbulb memories are created when our brain stores traumatic or life-changing events especially well. We vividly remember where we were, what we were doing, what time of day it was and even who we were with.

My point is, that night – five years ago, was such a memory. In my first article (never thought I’d say that!), I mentioned that 2014 was when I first fell, head over heels, in love. Before I found myself, The Beloved Found me.

Quran (93:7)…A Love Letter from my Lord.

Since this blog is all about changing yourself into a better you, I thought I’d start from the beginning. No, this is not a religious lecture. If you’re not Muslim, no, I’m not trying to convert you. There are lessons here for everyone, I promise.

I’m drawing attention to this memory because it was, and I’m quoting myself here, “The first major change in my life.” This is my journey. Yours may be different, and that’s ok.

To catch you up, I had mistakenly grown up with the idea that Allah Was this distant figure who would reward you if you did good, and punish you if you did bad. Simple Kid Terms.

As a teenager, I thought a little differently. Allah Was only Who you called on when you wanted something really badly, like an A on your physics test when you didn’t really study enough or more pocket money. Kind of like a fairy godmother.

He Could also be Who you asked for protection when you were really scared. You would be reciting the Ayatul-Kursi really, really fast when you were coming home from school at night; it was later than you were supposed to be out. You were paranoid that the man behind you was a serial killer…who would disappear with you – into the darkness.

Ooooh…just got goosebumps recalling that memory.

To sum it up, I didn’t know Allah beyond that. First, as a Reward-er or Punisher and then, as a Special Wish-Granter or Protector.

They say hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, I think, what about all those times in between?

And if I expected Allah to Give me so much, what did He Want from me, if anything? What was my purpose in all of this?


I’d always had this gnawing feeling in the back of my head that kept nagging me to think deeper. That Ramadan, it was suddenly all I could think about. Who was I hanging out with? What did they have me doing? Where did they have me going?

And most importantly, what did they have me becoming?

This brings me to the FIRST and ONLY Lesson this time…

Lesson#1:

Be careful who you’re friends with. Who your friends are is who YOU are.

Shockingly, I even posted this quote by Jim Rohn on my Instagram back in October of 2013. This was long before I “embarked” on this life-long struggle to change. Long story short, I kept putting it off – which used to be one of my greatest weaknesses, I’ll admit. I always got distracted and refused to confront reality.

Until some Force beyond time or space Pushed me to the ground, on my knees.

In the Ramadan of 2014.

It was well into third week of Ramadan when I started asking these questions more bravely. It starts with a curiosity, I guess, that was nurtured by LOTS of research. And some sort of intention, of course.

I would say aloud, “If there is a God, then show me a sign.” “I’m so far from happy.” “In a crowded room with my “best friends,” I’ve never felt so alone.”

“Is there something more?” “How did all of this just happen?” “What’s the point of doing anything if we’re all going to die?” “Just to leave something behind for others?” “What if humanity ceases to exist – who will remember or benefit from my legacy then?” “Convince me if You Exist.”

With the innocence of an ignorant teenager, I relentlessly asked these demanding questions.

Mentally, spiritually, scientifically – they were assaulting my mind and I was hungry for answers. That was my intention.

I wanted the truth, and nothing but that would fill the suddenly gaping hole in my heart.

It was the very heart I had tried so hard to fit this world into. Much to my chagrin, the grades, the friends, the lavish lifestyle – doing what I wanted, when I wanted to just didn’t seem to fit.

Keeping my mind and options open, I started researching into all the major world religions. I told myself I would run away if and live in the subway if my parents kicked me out as a result of my choice. Gratefully, that never happened.

The hours turned into days which turned into weeks. Time flew by. As soon as the month had began, it was about to come to an end. It was the 27th night…

STAY TUNED FOR MISH’S METAMORPHOSIS: PART II – TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3 at 9PM EST! (Or earlier, if I manage my time better – a HUGE weakness, which I MUST turn into a strength – a future blog post, God-Willing.) And no, it didn’t end happily ever after…the first time.

Sweet Dreams,

Just Mishi

– Your Ordinary Human Girl

P.S. I set a Thursday at 9:45pm deadline for myself this time. I was so nervous writing this article because I thought I wouldn’t have enough time to “perfect” it. But I did it, Alhamdulillah (All Praise and Thanks to God). Another behind the scenes lesson learned: JUST WRITE. SET your deadline. MEET your deadline. The length or content can always be edited after you write that first draft – like I’m doing now, 10 minutes after publishing it, he he. Just Write. Get it out there.

So You Want to Change the World? Read this First.

Sunset over Steppingstone Park in Great Neck, NY in 2014 – one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life. This is where I first decided to change. “One day, I will pluck the sun and hold it in my hand,” I had said…

Hey, you wonderfully curious, full-of-potential human. Yes, YOU there! How’s it going? Really, let’s take a minute. I want to know how you genuinely are, as a friend.

Let’s do something crazy right now.

Get up. Grab a pen and paper and write down the #1 problem in your life right now.

Go look in the mirror – while having Siri read-along this article, of course.

What do you see?

What are you struggling with? What habits are you trying so hard to overcome but it just isn’t working? What life did you used to dream of in the good ol’ days but today, it seems so far out of your reach?

You take that first step and try to start that new book/business/LIFE you’re passionate about or travel more or focus on your health or maybe you just want to lose those few extra pounds. Maybe you want to be a better mom, sister, brother, dad, husband or wife.

You could also just want to quit a bad habit, like learn to spend less on yourself, and save instead – or help others more. Maybe you’re super ambitious and want to do both.

Truth be told, you’re a slave to your desires and you’ve forgotten how to be free.

Sadly, you try SO hard to follow through for hours, a day, or if you have more willpower than most people, maybe a week and then it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore.

Maybe a little bit of change does happen, which you make sure to celebrate a LOT.

In the end, though, the costs outweigh the benefits for you. And just like that, you give up, and go right back to where you started.

Every. Single. Time.

Does this sound familiar?

It was my reality.

Ok so how did we get here? Are you just another millennial girl trying to get us to go green?

Well, I did promise complete honesty when I started this so here goes…story time, folks! Full Disclosure: I have a passion for story-telling so feel free to scroll down till the end if it’s not your thing – I’ll still be your friend, promise.

Two weeks ago, it hit home for me. I was teaching a Saturday class for kids on Qur’an – the book Muslims believe was Revealed by God as a guide for humanity. On this particular day in time, we were discussing the different kinds of pursuits a person can have.

Huh? Pursuit? Well yeah, I mean we’ve all heard it in the American Dream, right?…”Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of…happiness.” Or is it?

Interestingly enough, in my (part-time FBI Agent curiosity that I like to label) “research” of a few verses of the Qur’an, I came across a couple of new perspectives.

First of all:

I found out that the pursuit of happiness is the lowest form of pursuit.

Huh? Did you hear that right?

Yes, it doesn’t take a lot to be happy. And no one is ever happy all the time – its not the way life works.

OK…so what’s above happiness…?

The pursuit of impact, on the other hand – is the highest pursuit. I read all about the lives of human beings who had changed history. Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Einstein all made the list.

Why?

They were people of impact. They didn’t care about the fame or the money or the records they beat – they wanted to solve a problem for the “greater good.”

What sets these incredible people apart from the rest of humanity is that they never stopped fixing themselves and their ideas. The praise didn’t matter, no. Neither did the money. They were after something more.

Forgetting everything society had taught me, I resolved right then that I wanted to die as a person of impact, so Help me God.

Secondly, and more importantly:

I took a deeper look at the very famous verse that “God Does Not Burden a soul beyond that it can bear.”

I’m sure you’ve heard it before. A version of it is in the Bible too.

Traditionally, it’s thought to have meant that God – you’ll also hear me talking about Our Creator a lot, so just think Higher Being if you’re still in that agnostic phase – Does not Give you more problems than you can handle, in His Perfect Wisdom. Whatever you’re going through, you got this sis – or bro, we’re all equals here!

What’s more…

God Will Alleviate your burdens if you turn to Him and ask Him for Help. While this is reassuring, what’s possibly even more incredible is the actual, deeper meaning. Prepare to be mind-blown…

According to my research, I found out that the actual meaning of that part of this verse (Qur’an 2:286) IS….drumroll…

Lesson #1:

GOD HAS NOT BURDENED US WITH ANYTHING BUT OUR OWN POTENTIAL.

Oh My God, when that sunk in, I seriously almost fell off my chaise!

Why did I react like that?

Excellent question. OK, try to stay with me – I know you can. What this verse simply means is that if we have a talent for writing and *ahem* we keep delaying that book or blog, or if we dream of having our own business but repeatedly put it off, or if we simply must hit the snooze button and can’t get out of bed early because it’s i’mpossible – WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN POTENTIAL.

What really terrified me though, is Lesson #2:

We will be held accountable for using or failing to use (so scary!) our true potential in this life.

Look at the high standards God Has for us – even when we do not believe in ourselves.

Now you’re thinking, “Ok, great. How motivational. Was this supposed to be a religious lecture?”

If you’ve come this far, I’m truly impressed. You must be exceptionally curious, like me. Back to the story!

I went home after sharing what I learned with the kids from several paragraphs ago, who were so incredible by the way (Pro tip: I charmed them with Poki Sticks).

As I settled into my cozy bed with my fluffy pink blanket, a thought popped up in my head. “Shame on me. How can I preach something I don’t practice? What integrity do I have if I am telling these young minds to break their bad habits while failing to do the same myself?”

Isn’t that hypocrisy?

Yes, I had dropped some bad habits in the past. Yes, I had made some effort to do the right thing some of the time. Yes, I sometimes made crazy to-do lists that were rarely, if ever completed.

That day, I realized I had flattened out. I had stopped changing and so, had stopped truly living.

I swear, it was like a fire was ignited in me. All of those Rumi quotes hit me, all at once. Even “What you seek is seeking youfinally made sense.

I decided, in that moment, that I was going to change...

Not the world (yet), but something even more radical.

I was going to change myself – or die trying.

I tried really hard not to resort to clichés here. However, a much wiser human than I is reported to have agreed with what I just said…

Lesson #3:

You must be the change you want to see in the world.

Gandhi

In my entire 20-something-year-long life, I’ve never been this motivated.

As you can see from the picture of the stunning sunset, that was back in 2014. I was an itty bitty teenager determined to change the world.

More importantly, it was the year in which I fell, head over heels, in love with God for the first time.

That was the first major change in my life.

And the rest is history…

Just kidding! Life’s not perfect, ok?

Point is, I just never got around to doing all those big things the little girl in me dreamed of doing, being, ACHIEVING.

I had resorted to being average – just good enough.

Over the years since, I have come to learn Lesson #4:

Change is not a linear path.

Although I have held tight to my principles, I have slipped and fell many times. There were pesky habits, like chronic procrastination (or my claim to fame as a night owl) that always hindered me from maximizing my potential.

After that initial revolution, that little voice in my head would discourage me and say, “You’ve peaked already. Your time is gone. You’ve changed as much as you could.”

Little did I know that the enemy of progress is complacency, and complacency is death.

A tad dramatic? I’m somewhat of a drama-queen, I guess. In fact, naïve little me was all set for Hollywood in the fifth grade. It seemed only logical. After all, I had perfected all the accents – especially the Harry Pott-ah one!

I digress. So where were we?

#10 millionth Lesson learned:

It is NEVER too late to change, and keep changing.

Just Mishi

This lesson is what life is all about. As long as you are alive and you are cognitively aware (i.e. your brain is functioning), YOU HAVE HOPE.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how many mistakes you’ve made or how far from your goal you are. If you let your past hold you back, it’s kind of like saying,”Hey, I’m so dirty! What’s the point of showering?”

Silly, right?

You, alone can make your decision. It’s Day 1, or One Day, starting NOW.

If you and I can master this, together, we can be unstoppable. We can truly change the world by changing ourselves, first.

This latest awakening officially started 12 days ago. I used to have a fear of failure, which prevented me from pursuing my dreams. Not anymore, though. You Only Live Once, right?

I’ll tell you, with raw honesty, that I can’t stake a claim to success yet. I’m not there yet. I won’t be there until after I die. And that’s ok.

Why?

Because then, God Will Judge me. And if I pass? You’ll know I was consistent.

At the end of the day, YOU have to live with the human in the mirror. YOU are the most famous person you could ever hope to meet (besides God). God-Willing, YOU will change YOUR life.

It’s worth mentioning here that one of my favorite Instagram accounts is Dr. Aaliya Yaqub’s. In one of her posts, she writes that everyone’s path looks different, and that’s ok, too. If you want to compare, compare yourself to who you were yesterday and strive to be better!

Be hard on yourself, but at the same time, don’t be so hard that you fall off track after a single mistake. Love yourself enough to forgive yourself.

Final Lesson:

The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.

Fabienne Fredrickson

Be patient, she writes. Be humble. Your time is coming.

This is different.

People talk about the Before and After transformation. No one pays attention to the in-between: those sleepless nights, that constant battle between what’s easy and what gives you life, that hunger that sometimes fades in and sometimes out.

You get to see me struggle from Day 1. You get to hold me accountable.

You get to see that if I can do it, so can you!

At least that’s the hope.

I hope that one day, after I’m long gone, this can be a loving community of supporters that uplift each another to reach their full potential! Hey – a girl can dream, right? 😉

Since tomorrow is not guaranteed, if something happens to me tonight, I leave you with this:

Even if I don’t get a single reader on this post, I will be a very happy ghost knowing that I just went for it!

Best.Therapy.Ever.

Low-key, I guess I’m trying to be a sponge and absorb all this knowledge I’ve been missing from the highly successful people of all time. How? By a childhood habit I’m bringing back as a goal!

Read, read, and just keep reading.

OK, enough about myself.

This isn’t the Scared Straight program. Or is it…?

The End.

Gotcha there, didn’t I? It’s never the end till it really is – that last breath.

Sigh.

OK Mish, can you wrap this up before I doze off? Someone get me an espresso.

Right now, I want you to do something, my dear friend. After learning so much together, I feel like we’ve known each other forever.

You have so much to give to the world.

Get up, tiger. LOOK at yourself in the mirror.

But first, and I’m serious – take a selfie.

Let’s mark this day in history, when YOU made the choice to CHANGE the world.

Are you ready? Let’s repeat it together:

I AM the #1 Person Who WILL Change MY Life.

TODAY is DAY 1 of the rest of MY life.

I will BE the change.

Guess what happens next?

What You Seek is Seeking You.

Sweet Dreams,

Just Mishi

– Your ordinary human girl

Behind the Scenes:

P.S.: I started this article with this excuse for not having a blog post up today (wait, did I just publish my very first blog post?!): Currently ironing out the details of my Dec 15 SOLO getaway to Turkey & Dubai for the first time ever – much to the chagrin of my dear parents who are a little (read:extremely) afraid I will get kidnapped!

And heck yeah, I’ll be blogging+vlogging the whole she-bang both here, on my site and on my new insta @mishcanchange. If you’re insanely curious to know what I’m up to, go ahead and hit the link…whether you want to see me succeed, fail or just watch!

Also, I took a risk and quit a job this week that wasn’t helping me grow. More about that this Thursday!

P.P.S.: Great Book Recommendation to get you jumpstarted on the road to change today! Just hit the link and it’ll lead you to Brian Tracy’s “No Excuses.” Obviously not all the wisdom here is mine, gosh.

If you have made it to the end, you can honestly check a box off your own list that says, “Read a book!” Someone verify this – please, before I get in trouble…

I would totally write more (ha ha!) but I can’t miss my bed-time and I must be up at the crack of dawn – one of my goals since forever! Hope to see you around and go through this crazy adventure of life together 🙂

Lots of Peace and Love.