Losing is a part of winning. Is it not?


You are asking: how can losing be a part of winning?

The response is: anyone who tries only to win and never to lose, could really never win.

Can you tell someone: “Learn how to ride a bicycle, but never fall off of it?” We would not expect someone to ride a bicycle without falling at least a few times and getting little cuts and bruises.

How can we then expect to attain success without failing? To be a winner without ever losing?

You know that Thomas Edison failed many many times before he was successful in his light bulb project. Did he stop after every time he failed? No! On the contrary. The way he looked at it was that each time he failed, he was essentially one step closer to success because he had eliminated one way that did not work!

I knew the concept before, but never consciously applied it. I decided to give it a conscious shot.

Then came all the butterflies, the uncertainty, the fear of the unknown, all the ifs and buts–all fancy words for my fear of failure.

My coach always says that whenever you feel tingly nervous feelings (butterflies) in your stomach before doing something new, know that you must be doing something amazing and extraordinary.

I realized that the more amount of uncertainty I can comfortably live with, the closer I am to winning and the quality of my life becomes remarkably better. The more rejection and failure I can courageously face, the faster my speed of success is.

Success was always for the brave souls who–throughout history–made friends with uncertainty, rejection, and failure.

The very last two lines of our Martial Arts creed says:

Winners are not quitters and quitters are not winners.
I choose to be a winner.

When you think your body can’t take it anymore, but you persist, that’s when the winner in you comes out and shines.

Sadly, most people quit when they are on the verge of winning. I admit that it’s not easy. But if others can persist until they win, so can I.

And so can you.

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Love Your Family, But…

success ladder

You always hear it.

You always see it.

Then suddenly it hits you:

“Your life is a direct reflection of the expectations of your peer group.”

Huh? My life what…?

All these times, as I tried to climb the ladder, there have been people pulling me down–very close people indeed–very strongly. Without a doubt, they care for me from the core of their hearts, but… (there’s always a “but,” isn’t there?)

Their standards don’t match mine.

Recently, when a few people heard about a sister’s goals that she has set for herself and the things that she decided she wants (plus the things she won’t settle with), they said to her: “Tu reve en couleur.” Meaning, you’re dreaming in color; you’re being very unrealistic. Do you know how she replied? She said: “I love to dream in color… it’s better than black & white.”

My words exactly.

Imagine yourself as a flower growing tall in a beautiful flower-garden. As you constantly reach for the sky, you grow to be tall enough for others to notice. Now, what can the other flowers do? They can either be happy for you and let you grow even taller (and push themselves to raise their bar) OR they can take a scissor, cut you down, and bring you down to their level. You know what they’ll say: “Welcome back to planet Earth!”

Well, can someone give me ONE example where anything extraordinary happened in human history when someone did NOT go out of their comfort zone and reach for the sky? How did any innovation come about when someone was not ridiculed and called “unrealistic?” Who do you want to be with?

I would take the slightly unrealistic achievers over the realistic non-achievers any day of my life. When others would pull me down, I would draw strength from my slightly unrealistic friends. They encourage me, challenge me, and support me to become the ultimate me that I can possibly be. They show me that a life with constant energy, excitement, and passion is not a dream–it’s a reality waiting for you to embrace it!

O my slightly unrealistic friends!

I may not know you, but I salute you. Always keep moving forward and up the ladder and know that you are not alone. In shaa Allaah, you will touch and fill the void of so many hearts that others can’t even dream of!

So, what’s the secret? It’s really simple: “Love your family, but choose your friends”–very carefully!

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Money, Thou Art a Slave; And I, a Master


Is this true:

“We buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like, with money we don’t have?”

While growing up, we all were taught to study hard and do well in school, so that we can get a secure job–one that will pay us enough to live a normal life. It seems that getting a good job or employment was the goal for ALL of our education and degrees–during the time that’s the prime of our youth. Most people won’t admit it, but that’s the bottom-line-message.

What’s up with that?

Instead of mastering money, we’ve become its slaves–literally. People who have mastered money and people who are its slaves, what is the difference? The difference is in how they look at money:

Most folks work to earn. The masters work to learn. Most folks work for money. The masters let money work for them. Most folks see money as an end goal. The masters see money as a tool towards achieving something greater. The more money flows within a community, the more benefits and services are being exchanged between its members.

We can be like the masters if we want to–it’s a matter of choice! Sadly, we have to pick up the real-world financial literacy outside of school. Folks who are wealthy and are financially savvy, should mentor/coach others to follow their footsteps.

How awesome would it be to have the greatest coaches of all–people like Khadeejah and ‘Uthmaan?

They may not be present, but their lessons are–so are those who are following their footsteps. And those lessons are NOT lessons of poverty, but lessons of wealth. They did NOT live a life of taking, but a life of giving. They were not poor in any sense of the word, rather they were rich in all of its meanings! A lack of wealth or poverty has nothing to do with piety–absolutely nothing. An abundance of good wealth, on the other hand, has everything to do with piety and righteousness–absolutely everything.

That’s why our beloved Prophet said: “How excellent is wholesome wealth in the hands of a righteous person!” Surely, money in the hand of a righteous person will spread more righteousness and money in the hand of an evil person will spread more evil.

I love a saying of my coach: “Wealth is just a magnifier of what’s inside one’s heart.”

So, what’s my financial goal? Master money, so it can work for me (not the other way around!), and in shaa Allaah, I will be free to do what I truly love with my life–not only looking at the end-goal, but also enjoying and savoring the process as well.

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ABC’s of Speech Writing


I believe that you are a good orator and you have the potential to be an outstanding one, in sha Allah. I would like to share a special recipe for speech writing that will revolutionize your ability to deliver effective speeches, by the permission of Allah. If you follow this recipe, you will see the audience engrossed in your words, enchanted by your speech, and engaged in your ideas, in sha Allah. It’s called the ABCDEFG Speech Recipe. Your speech should start with A and end with G.


A – Arresting Anecdote


Many speakers delve into the heart of their topic at the beginning of their speech, or they begin with thanking the organizers for inviting them, etc. Instead, they should start immediately with something that will grab the audience’s attention. Examples: Tell a story, share a personal incident, ask a provocative question, do something out of the ordinary, scream, anything that will grab the audience’s attention right from the start.


B – Basic Problem


Your audience is now at full attention. This is the time to clearly state what you will be talking about. Don’t keep them guessing or else they’ll become confused or lose interest. For example, “Today we will be discussing backbiting,” or, “Cheating is a plague that the Muslims are suffering from.”

C – Concerned Listener


Tell the audience why they should care about what you’re talking about in the first place. Imagine them saying: “Fine, you’re talking about backbiting. Why should I care?” So you’ll say, “Those who backbite will have such-and-such punishment in the Hereafter,” or, “You may sometimes backbite someone and not even consider that you’re sinning! For example…”

D – Dramatic Details


Throughout your speech, engross your audience in the dramatic details of what you are describing. paint a picture for them with your words. Instead of saying, “The Sahabah marched to Uhud,” say: “Imagine yourself marching to Uhud with the Sahabah. Your throat is parched as you tread under the burning sun, uncertain if you will live to see tomorrow.” Put some drama into your delivery and use hand gestures and body language to act out what you’re saying.

E – Examples


Give practical, real-life examples of the problem you are discussing. Talk in terms of your audience’s daily life. If you’re talking about anger management you can say, “For example, have you ever been driving down the highway and suddenly someone cuts you off? At that point, it probably became very difficult to keep your temper.”

F – Facts on the Other Side


This is where you respond to the “Yeah, but…” that might be in the mind of your listener. Let’s say you’re talking about backbiting. The audience might be thinking, “Yeah, but… what if what you’re saying behind their back is true!” So in this section you’d say, “Some people might think that as long as it’s true, it’s okay to say it. Actually that’s not allowed because…” Think of a few “Yeah, but…” questions that people may have and discuss them in your talk.

G – Goad to Action


End your talk with one action item that you want the audience to act upon. It should be as practical, simple, and precise as possible. Don’t say, “In conclusion, backbiting is an evil that we need to rid the community of.” That’s too vague. Instead end with an action item, “Next time you hear someone backbiting, immediately tell them, ‘Don’t backbite!'” Ending with an action item helps your audience to actually act upon your speech and change their lives, in sha Allah.

If you apply the ABCDEFG Recipe in your next speech, I’m sure you will achieve outstanding results, in sha Allah. May Allah grant you success in this life and the Hereafter.

Source: Touched by an Angel seminar

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