By Ahmed Muneeb
Defining your mission is critical to reach the pinnacles for success and helps provide that framework to your vision.
I have spent my university years and building my 20s through the financial planning sector. Although it has given me great knowledge and awareness about the significance of financial responsibility, it has also provided other important aspects to life in general and the outlook of it.
Working with families of substantial wealth and handling their financial affairs has provided an insight to their mental make-up and what has driven them to reach their levels of success in their respective businesses and industries. Having worked in this arena throughout the last several years, Families have mentioned several factors that stood out which are driving them:
They simply have laid-out visions early on during their time in the workforce to ensure that they have established a better way of doing business. They have learned their industries inside and out and thought out plans to compete against the norm. This sounds simplistic but it usually starts with having that drive to begin with.
2. A “Producer”
They have realized to truly reach the “financial” level of success that many dream to have achieved, adopting the producer’s mentality is vital. To truly win in this economy, you must think of yourself as a producer vs. a consumer. When you are an employee, you are in the consumer space; however, if you are a founder/owner it is you who is the producer. You are the service provider; you are the job creator and to make “millions”, you must impact millions by providing something to them.
Something you rarely hear, but heard only after the fact. Believe it or not, individuals and successful families think about the type of legacy they would want to leave after they leave this world and through upcoming generations. Especially working with couples in handling their financial affairs, having something to leave their next generation is an aspect that they think about when looking at the big picture and that is what provides the frame in the decisions they make.
A husband and his wife had established an incredibly successful educational company over the course of their marriage. When asked how it all got started? His wife (the visionary Founder & CEO) responded with a mission statement. They had literally crafted their mission statement word-for-word together 25 years ago, early on in their marriage (at 22 years old).
#4 astounded me the most, personally. It almost has that “Bonnie and Clyde” mentality in a grandiose type of light. Having been extremely curious about their mission statement, I pressed them a little more for more information. Teachers at heart, working for their respective school districts initially, the couple asked themselves a very important single question:
What kind of value feels like the most important value we could create?
The question was followed by their response - a mission statement that was 1 or 2 sentences long, provided the framework in impacting millions of childrens’ lives all over the world. This question, along with their mission statement was printed and framed all around their home and their personal work offices. This serves as a reminder to them each and every single day, the mission that they are out to complete day in and day out, to bring smiles across kids’ faces as they engage in the learning process.
As we grow in our careers, our goals and passions — always remember to define and find your mission.
So, What is Your Mission?
By Ahmed Muneeb
It really is all mental – the mind is a powerful tool and a powerful weapon. We ultimately have the power to change it.
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” ~ Steve Jobs
Do you ever feel like you trust your gut almost to a 100%, but your heart and your mind are not on the same page? Sometimes the decisions you would like to make become a dragged out dilemma to the point of debilitation. It is a tough sentiment to get through, believe me. You are not alone. This is a problem that plagues a lot of people from achieving their full potential.
The problems start when we listen too much to outside noises and believing that those voices have a point.
We start to think that we are doing it wrong. The reason for it is due to a basic lack of self-esteem and confidence to say that: NO! YOU are the one that is doing it wrong. On a personal level, this had defined my teens through school and even into my early 20s and I felt I was a prisoner in my own mind only to develop the proper mental frame and mechanism. Ever since the decision to target these mental games, my personal and mental development has been light years of a difference for myself. Self-esteem is at an all time high and I feel more than 150% confident about whom I am as an individual. It is such a powerful feeling.
It really is all mental – the mind is a powerful tool and a powerful weapon. We ultimately have the power to change it. It really is in our hands and a simple honest talk with yourself every day could go a long way.
What is Inner Wisdom/Voice?
It is a tool for quick and ready insight. It is a gut feeling, a 6th sense, an inner knowing. It is almost instinctual. It is a feeling of that particular situation “feeling right”. It is an unexplainable feeling at times.
Listening to ourselves can get tricky. Often our inner wisdom is a mere whisper. It is a murmur that is especially hard to hear over your harsh inner critic.
Some of the readers may argue that sometimes that inner voice is the one that needs to be tamed and may be that inner voice is even stopping themselves from achieving great things due to fear of failure.
The key? Map it out.
This does not have to be serious. You can play and experiment and pivot to see what messages you get and may be logic could come into play to dictate.
How to Listen to Your Inner Wisdom
Let's look at how to connect to your inner wisdom.
1. Calm down.
When my mind is calm, the connection to my inner wisdom is the strongest.
When my mind is in turmoil, I do not try to make any decisions, but to let it subside and to just let it go! I let my mind run wild through many scenarios freely, until the calmness approaches and it does, because the mind is a muscle and that muscle will get tired.
Sometimes and unfortunately, negativity comes into the picture. It is NORMAL to have your ups & downs. Remember you are human. It would be unnatural if it was otherwise.
If I find myself in a negative state, I might go for a run, listen to powerful and inspirational music, immediately read inspirational short-stories, quotes and people or meditate. Personally, I do not try to suppress the negativity but really just take a break and to exhale.
When you take a break, even for a minute or two to blink, gradually your calm will return along with the connection to your wisdom.
2. Stop Forcing It.
I cannot stand it when I hear excuses about why something could not be done and even more so when I fall into that trap. I want to figure it all out. I want to force results, and I want to have achieved my goals last year.
The more you force something, the more slowly things happen and sometimes they do not happen at all.
This does not mean to be complacent. Not at all and to never ever further mean that persistence is useless. Persistence is VITAL to achieving your full potential. In everything you do from relationships to your workplace and all aspects of life. Fighting for what you want is the essence to connecting to your inner wisdom and the essence of success in general.
“Stop Forcing it” means being aware of what you could control and what you do not.
And it goes back to calming down. When you are worried about what might go wrong in life and you’re trying to fix an imaginary problem, the connection to your wisdom, mind and heart is detached.
But once you learn to become aware that you do not know where life is going, you can relax and control the decisions that you make on that specific day and in that specific time.
My inner wisdom shines when I am patient. In the public eye, my patience is well understood. Behind the scenes, however, I have a fire that rages from within. I want to win and want to win now. I am competitive. I hate to lose. Sometimes to the point where I lose sleep over it and other times to the point where I grit my teeth.
When you are in the weeds with something or grinding hard at work, sometimes we fail to see what the bigger picture is about. Understand what your “end goal” is. Again we do not know where life is going. It is scary to grasp. But its also beautiful.
Take a step back and let your mind and heart dictate how you feel about a particular idea or situation. The more distance you give something, your inner wisdom shines. It takes time, but you will definitely know that feeling.
The biggest pitfall I fall into over and over is stressing about whether or not I am on the right path. This “worry” has plagued me ever since I was 16 years old. I broke myself down to the core, went through a period of self-analysis and self-critique. I was brutal with myself and my own harshest critic throughout the happiest periods of people’s lives (a.k.a college). I felt like I was missing out on living and what was worse, I was comparing myself to others and that is the most self-defeating.
I am fortunate to have a very large circle of friends. I am even more fortunate to have a very close inner-circle. That inner-circle was the extreme opposite of myself. They were “free”. They believed that life will work itself out; to take it a day at a time and to let go of the tight self-imposed constraints. I have observed their attitudes and have molded and adapted it to my own personal characteristics.
IT WAS SUCH A CONCEPT. I had the belief that if you did not stress about whether you are or not on the right path, then you just did not care. It was a false assumption to make. I have come to accept that life will take me where I need to go. I can only do my best with what I have and only so much I could control.
Surround yourself with good people who have your best intentions at heart. Surround yourself with great friends. Most importantly, surround yourself with friends who have differing personalities and outlooks on life than you do. You could learn so much from them.
What You Need to Remember
I mapped out my life (my 20s to age 30) at the age of 16. I had it all laid out – from entering university at age 17 to finishing in 3 years (which I did), to being a multi-millionaire by the age of 25 to having my empire at the age of 30. I LOVED planning it out. It gave me joy. It made me feel like I cared more than anyone else about where I want to go.
It is important to have goals. I always have goals. What people fall into (I, included) is attaching timelines to everything. This caused stress and anxiety if those timelines were not met. Let it go. Goals provide structure and your inner voice provides that map.
Figuring this out at the age of 25 has been liberating. My inner wisdom has shined and now I feel like I could clearly control my destiny with decisions to make, with the awareness that life may throw a wrench into your plans. You must understand how to get up when you get knocked down.
But ALWAYS remember:
By Ahmed Muneeb
Change someone's world today.
Having studied and read the biographies of the most successful people on the planet, they all mentioned something very specific that has attributed to where they are today. This is something that we take for granted but really is essential to our natural growth process.
The most successful organizations and businesses in the world have been founded by visionary entrepreneurs and once you dig a little deeper, you will find that these individuals who have questioned societal norms and put their thoughts and minds into creating their businesses have “found their calling or purpose”. Sounds simple right? There must be something that guides them through the journey of building their businesses to be what they would like to represent. Once you are able to read some of their stories you find that they all have something in common. They had someone to look up to – they had a mentor.
Mentoring is defined as: advising or training (especially of that of a younger colleague). Personally, I think mentoring is incredibly underrated. This is something that never receives the credit it deserves. Anyone who is anyone has to have that sort of guidance in their personal and professional lives to help steer them through uncharted territories. The type of guidance that would allow that younger, lesser experienced individual to not make the same mistakes that their elders have committed. Any one from successful celebrities, to professional athletes to business leaders, politicians and even your current boss have had that ONE person where they “caught a break” or gave them the opportunity and platform to succeed and to build their story. They are more than willing to admit it as well.
Experience is the best teacher and there is nothing like it. It is something that can never be taught in classrooms, books, texts, etc. Experiences through life build our character, our thoughts and sometimes our persona. It helps shape our views towards the greater society. For better or for worse – it is necessary. The best part is you do not need to spend money to earn a piece of a paper or get a degree in “experience” to maintain it. You just have to live your life.
On a personal note, I am a strong advocate in the power of mentoring. Being the oldest of my siblings, my parents have instilled and emphasized that what you do as an individual will be watched by the eyes of your younger brothers. To never forget that, that what you do leaves an impression. Being a strong advocate for the power of mentoring – I was involved in the Orange County Big Brother Program for over 5 years, where they pair like-minded individuals with younger kids who have not been able to have a stable role model in their lives to navigate through life’s challenges. It was so rewarding and even more so, having considered my personal circumstances.
Understand that even if you do not think that what you are doing could serve as being a mentor to someone – think again. Look around your household or even your workplace; there is always someone who needs that guidance. Become a mentor today and start viewing yourself in that light. Someone needs to hear your story. They will thank you for it later – without you even realizing it.
To all my readers, who do you consider your mentor? Inspiration?
By Ahmed Muneeb
Success. It is the ever elusive feeling and quest that no doubt every one wants to attain for and everyone wants to feel. It makes sense right? Who, in their right mind, wants to shoot for the opposite?!
There is a problem with this one word though. It's vague. How does it come to fruition? What is it? How is it attained? What are the factors that lead up to it? There are many cliches to success as well, from motivational speakers to writers and authors, etc.
It is not as easy to point out.
Here is where the subjective perspectives come into play. Some have a generational perspective to the meaning and may argue the "definition" changes from generation to generation. What may have held true to "society's definition" of success in previous generations may not be the case for the current one. There is definitely an argument to be made here.
Usually success (let's be honest) is associated with financial wealth. I know in my parents generation having spent their 20s during the 1980s — that was the standard bearer. Especially when industries such as finance/money-oriented careers such as investments, dominated the top career choices for new graduates, under the Reagan era. Your success professionally and furthermore, your reputation was more or less dependent upon how much income you generate and how much wealth you have.
That still holds true today on some level as well. Let's not ignore that. We have been spoiled by constantly hearing headlines of freshly-minted billionaires in Silicon Valley and everywhere in the tech arena. In some cases hearing stories of these events occurring within only five years. Even though, it still holds true, there are other layers for our current generation that we incorporate in to our definition of success to go beyond of what maybe the previous generation had believed. Or at least, the perception of their beliefs.
We care about a very powerful six lettered word in today's world: "I.M.P.A.C.T." If I complete this task or commit to this business, then what is the end goal? What is the purpose of what we are doing? What problem is it going to solve? That is the mind frame of the current millennial generation. We have heard all the negativity in the 24/7 news cycle about our world today. Seems like its just bloodshed and destruction and that only on television. The power of social media could blow up any story at any moment.
We see and hear these terrible events only to find ourselves and it gets us thinking. We want more. Not to just be bound by the lives of our cubicles and sitting behind a desk all day buzzing through emails without any thought. We do not want that anymore. At least not just that. We do not want the negativity or hearing someone shouting through a microphone telling us that the world is a dangerous place and that there is no hope for it to change so stay put. We do care for problems and finding potential solutions to our society's shortcomings. We find ourselves constantly concerned with, socially responsible organizations and as well as investing to advance the world for the better. We want to feel like we are making a difference.
On a personal level, there is no better feeling and nothing more rewarding than giving back to your community or feeling like your work has meaning. Its even better to have a direct organization that accomplishes the same objective that is able to utilize many resources to further fulfill a quest.
This is not limited to a "generational" definition either. It was just an example. The bottom line is that what one individual's definition of success could be very different from the next person. That is okay. It could be to primarily build a functional business from the ground up with strong sales or it could be creating an organization and research that has a clear mission to tackle serious societal issues. It could be being recognized as being on top of your profession as a lawyer, doctor, teacher, etc. For others, "success" could mean something more fundamental such as being 'there' for your kids as a parent, being a loving spouse, or having the support and being surrounded loving friends and family.
Again, it's okay to have YOUR own definition of what success looks like. It is not about the money. At least not only. I, myself, am learning to define it as well and what it looks like. THAT is the challenge. Hopefully we all could work to attain it, because it sure is empowering — but first, you as an individual MUST define it.
As the great Michael Jordan once stated:
"Success is How You Perceive It"
By Ahmed Muneeb
Putting in the work, trying something new to see what could work and what does not and learning to pivot one way or another.
The mind is a powerful tool that could be used as a weapon in life. It could be an even more of a powerful advantage or debilitating disadvantage. It can fuel all emotions from rage and anger to sadness and happiness to confusion and hopelessness to even more complex feelings such as love or preferences & taste. We all experience them and sometimes these ranges of emotions and thoughts could benefit us for the long term, or on the other hand, send us down a toxic downward spiral. The ultimate question is how to deal with these ranges of emotions.
For the scope of this article, the focus will be primarily in dealing with the complex mind and challenging the mental barriers that one may face. For the author, it is a personal vendetta that has been discovered through writing. We all have an inner voice guiding us, telling us where to go and what to decide and how to best approach a situation. How do we know if that inner voice has our best intentions? Some may respond to this by including their morals and values and of course, religious beliefs as part of that guidance. Some may look to their environment when making a decision on which path to take. There are plenty of answers, sure, and we all have different rationale and thought processes that each make us unique.
Let me reiterate that the mind is VERY powerful; to your benefit or to your detriment. If you are a person reading this article and finding yourself trying to take the next step in your life whether it be in your career, trying out new things, new ventures, new experiences, new love, whatever that may be and you have always had these inner voices telling you to not try; to just play it safe or why bother? But deep down inside you are just unsatisfied and you know you have to do SOMETHING. There is obviously a mental barrier there.
It could be easy to just go with the flow and see where life takes you. That is a great approach to life and personally I envy those who think like that. In contrast, if you are a “planner” in this world, you are aware that easily things could be over thought, over planned, over analyzed to the point of exhaustion. I have had my fair share of these feelings throughout my teens and early 20s that I have been coping with and honestly recovering from at the same time. It is okay to try and have a plan; in fact, I think it is important to success and your own goals, aspirations, priorities and of course the ultimate underlying attribute – happiness. Remembering though that life rarely goes according to plan is something that was just incredibly difficult to grasp.
The feeling of over complicating life, trying to plan every step, every month, every year, the next 3 years, the next 5 years, the next 10 years and wondering about the “what-ifs”. Failing to meet the milestones in that plan could cause disappointment and even worse, depression and thus, causing a major setback. Again, the importance of having a structure is great because it illustrates your dedication and you are able to see the deviation from the baseline more clearly. However, to truly get to where you want to get to –remembering at times of when to let go is a concept in itself. If you are having a mental struggle or you are a control freak, you just have to try something else. How about trying to: LET. IT. GO! I am learning this personally as I speak (or in this case, write). It is not the end of the world and what is the use for more stress either? Honestly, letting go is liberating. Let me be VERY clear, this is not to say to completely let go to the point of NO control (that would be self defeating) of course, but rather trying a better more productive approach:
Putting in the work, trying something new to see what could work and what does not and learning to PIVOT one way or another.
In other words, you just have to give it a shot! If you are not satisfied with any or some aspect of your life, you must keep on trying new things, new adventures, new careers, new hobbies, etc. Meet as many people as you can, and your mind will feel liberated just by hearing other people's experiences and stories. As a result, happiness and success will soon follow. At the end of the day YOU are still in control regardless. You control your mind. Kill those mental barriers by sharing new experiences. The world is constantly changing and people must be quick to adapt.
To quote a company’s slogan from Oregon (Nike of course):
By Ahmed Muneeb
You, now are the creator, the owner, the director of your success and your future. You own it. You plan it.
The millennial generation. Generation: Me. Me. Me. There are a lot of notions about the current generation. The baby boomer generation, having grown through their trials and tribulations of the 1960's, defined their generation in creating social & political change. That was their decade. Their decade to say that the status quo can no longer be held true. The notion that their prior generations, especially that of what is considered to be the "greatest generation: WW2 generation" have it all wrong. They believed something needed to be changed.
It was that generation who now believes that everything is handed to this current, millennial generation. Let's not forget, however, that the predecessor generation helped pave the way for some of the current generation's "benefits". Think of the Bill Gates's and the Steve Jobs's of the world who were pioneers in the age of technology in the 70's and the 80's. Sure, things may "seem" to be easier for us. Every fact, every story, every concept and idea is now at our fingertips. As the saying goes, however, "never judge a book by its cover".
Fast forward to the last 8 years. In the post 2008 era, having seen our generation's version of a "depression," attitudes have changed. The belief that going to school, finding a job and building your "career" in this sort of a straight line, "staying in your lane" type of path, is the key to living a stable life. This may have held true when "loyalty" held true in our professions. 2008, however, has taught us a lesson. The lesson that everything you have "built" throughout the years could be gone in a heartbeat. What is the result? Loss of job, loss of pay, loss of home, financial distress, struggling to keep things together, wondering how to pay your kids' expenses, thinking about how to send your kids to college in the future; never mind the fact that you could be a medical emergency from being broke.
It happens too often. Wages have stagnated over the last few decades, as society and the cost of goods and services continue to rise. The global economy is still recovering 8 years later. It's still painful and job prospects are slim. If there is anything our generation has learned over the years, with the help of technology of course, it is the fact that now, it's the YOU Economy. You, now as an individual cannot be dependent on ANYONE nor an organization for your well-being. You, now are the creator, the owner, the director of your success and your future. You own it. You plan it. Every where you go, you are now a walking brand. I am proud that our generation has understood this, because the world will be better off for it as working to solve a problem has become the utmost priority for us.
Always remember: "Opportunities don't happen, you create them." — Chris Grosser
Copyright © 2017. Silent Mind. All Rights Reserved.