July 14, 2011
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A brilliant young lady with immense talent sent me a heartfelt email today. She had been active in social work and dropped off the scene after receiving harsh criticism. The critic, someone in the humanitarian field also turned competitive and broke the young lady’s spirit. She left behind a promising beginning and settled for work without passion.
Too many entrepreneurs are easily put off by setbacks.. not realizing these setbacks are nothing but fitness training.. with each setback, you acquire a new skill to deal with challenges.. and the more setbacks you have the higher your purpose and calling is in life.. acknowledging setbacks and cheerfully moving past them paves the next step for progress. Getting stuck on a setback kills your dreams.
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo
I received an email this week from a young Arab professional titled “Career Advice”. It was a very honest account of his struggles to feel fulfilled, realize his potential.. make sense of his career path.. he has a job he dislikes, he’s always told he’s not realizing his full potential.. he cannot even recall what he’s passionate about.
My response is what follows; if you have an opinion, please share…
- as humans, we are not made to work desk jobs for most our waking hours
- today’s jobs are too monotonous especially for people with active minds
- you cannot survive without hobbies that take you in directions radically different from your routine.
- change is good
- articulating your passions is essential.. even if just on paper.. write them out.. say them, speak about them to anyone willing to listen.. some will stay with you, other passions will fizzle away.. at least you’d get them out of your system.
- don’t plan for a life time.. plan in 3 year increments…
- count your blessings every morning.. celebrate the small successes.
- be a child in your curiosity and excitement. be happy when things go right… get excited for adventure and new experiences.. even if they feel uncomfortable.. a child is happy running around for hours in a garden, even if they feel exhausted afterwards..
- think now.. don’t think future all the time.. you have to be reaching your potential.. today.. wake up feeling great.. maintain the greatness all day.. despite what you hear in your head..
- let your inner compass guide you..don’t listen to others.. good, bad, or ugly .. other people’s opinions don’t matter.. they either make us think we have things they see or want to see, or they put us down for not realizing the potential they see in us… you have to be guided from within.
April 4, 2011
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In a recent conversation where a colleague made sweeping generalizations on what Arab women want, I
remembered a movie..”what women want” Mel Gibson takes us into the world of a PR agency that hires a women to unleash the secrets of marketing to women. I cannot speak for all women, what I can do is start my list and ask Arab women out there to contribute…
- an investment bank for women, run by women, that puts value on women’s ideas in the region, for the region.
- an Arab country where my children can live proud, vocal, secure, and peaceful,
- a Media that respects my values, pride in my heritage and lineage, my features, my traditional clothes, my modesty and lack of interest in looking 18 when I’m 42,
- a TV station that doesn’t assume I like trashy music videos, inconsequential series, and borrowed reality TV themes,
- a business culture that acknowledges local talent, run by professionals who believe the marketing slogans they put out and start living by them,
- a collective consciousness that appreciates our individual and collective potential as Arabs.. takes criticism with humility, celebrates our successes locally, regionally and globally,
- a society that sees the connection between excess and obesity, pollution and asthma, greed and heart ailment, emotional suppression and cancer,
- an outlook on non-working mothers as an asset .. an emotional comfort, the wise grandmothers, the nurturing mothers who provide the emotional foundation of our society,
- a memory of the way our grandparents and parents lived.. with less material possessions, and treasures of contentment,
- I want Google to stop advertising “girls in the UAE” ads when I browse the web!
many more.. and waiting to be inspired others out there..please pass it on. ..
December 31, 2010
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Reflecting on 365 days is like playing a reel of photos, with emotions in the background substituting for music. 2010 brought a lot of promise, hope, heartfelt emotions, financial anxieties, many new beginnings, and a few bitter endings.
We were blessed with:
- Working closely with the PCRF and realizing through our support that nothing can be more fulfilling than working to provide children and youth a better future.
- Launching zeedna, after two long years of an uphill climb in a downhill market, receiving a warm market welcome, and getting amazing advisers Joi Ito & Razan Kabbani
- Launching bidayat our contribution to the development of the Arab Social Venture landscape.
- Building the online presence of inspiring organizations like Injaz & Buzoor that are changing the face of education in the Arab world.
- Knowing that our contributions to the Qatar 2022 made a difference, and has the impact to change the social landscape of the region over the next 12 years.
- Sharing our thoughts with audiences through Open Diversity, YAL, DSG, NYU Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Fund, Arabnet, Ashoka Arab World, Dubai University and many others throughout the year.
- We met like-minded people from Jeddah, Beirut, Damascus, and many other places throughout the Arab world and the US.
In the new year, we wish for:
- prosperity in bringing technologies and good business to life
- freedom from anxiety, financial burdens, insincerity, time-wasting endeavors
- less bureaucracy, less time spent at airports, banks and government agencies
- more time spent with loved ones, inspiring colleagues, friends and nature
Most of all, we wish for time to reflect on how to live wisely and purposefully and extend our gratitude to everyone who supported us and stood by us in 2010.
December 11, 2010
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I have long maintained that the real Islam is being preserved and nurtured today in the USA. In small social circles, academic forums, individual and collective discourse; uncovering relevance to environmental conservation, gender equality and much more. Young and old, Muslims and other denominations are having healthy, constructive exchanges on the beauty of Islam and the Qur’an. Here is one example that is absolutely brilliant!
I pray that Muslims around the world find the wisdom to explore the meaning, values, depth of the Holy book in such a manner.
Hazleton is author of After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam
November 22, 2010
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How does 1+1 equal a million?
How do you unleash the power of many?
Is a focus on a single bottom line more effective than one a triple bottom line? It is simpler; but is it more effective?
Does a single bottom line mean forgoing measures, or merging them?
Must you look for a problem to solve? Or do you stumble on solving a problem?
What lessons of abundance can one learn from Nature?
How do you create a collaborative, agile, creative, efficient framework for organizations / entrepreneurs / to operate within?
A thought provoking conversation with Ihsan Jawad; the second of many I hope to have to shed light on a needed dialogue on an alternative framework; barakability and abundance theory, Rizq and Risk, return and reward.
A new lexicon
- Marketing => Cause Marketing
- Business => Social Business
- Information Technology => Inspiration Technology
- Think Tanks => Do Tanks
- Competition => Coopetition
- Arab Women . An industry of social enterprise
- Arab Youth . The case for place-based education