September 29, 2010

My First Uni Assignment

We were supposed to write about ourselves.
I felt so self-obsessed dedicating two entire A3 sheets to myself :/
It was rather embarassing. But anyway, here's the final result.

What do you think?

Das Ist Mir

It’s hard to describe yourself, particularly so in a social context because we, as humans, are constantly evolving and being changed by our own experiences. I guess it’s better, and certainly more accurate to be able to describe ourselves by means of quotes- or sayings, if you will- because they reflect our values, thoughts and opinions, therefore summing up our personalities coherently and profoundly. But before I get to that bit, here are some basics about me:

•My name is Arfa, however the cyberspace knows me as BoogieMonsterMan (don’t even Add Imageask!)

•Came into this world on 16th August, 1992, in Dubai, as a Pakistani Muslim.

•I have a wonderful family who are the number one people on my list. They have always been open-minded and accepting of my crazy, evolving self.

•I have an 8 month old niece who I love to bits, and would do anything for.

•I have a strange fascination for Turkey and South Korea. Probably because of the dominant and progressing entertainment industry in the latter.

•I’m an avid blogger and social-networking geek.

•Love travelling and learning about new cultures but I’ve never been able to do so.

Here are a few quotes that I find hold true for me:

"The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.”
-- George Bernard Shaw

“"Don’t accept a life of mediocrity when you hold such infinite potential within the fortress of your mind. Dare to tap into your greatness. It's your birthright."
--Robin Sharma”

"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas." George Bernard Shaw

“People may hate you, but they don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.” – Richard Nixon

Goals in life:

• To be a successful human rights/constitutional lawyer, a recognized journalist and an excellent Faqih (a person trained in Islamic Jurisprudence).

• To be able to speak Arabic, Turkish, French and Farsi fluently.

Socio-political/religious issues demanding debates and discussions are my calling therefore don’t be surprised to find my ‘expert’ opinion plastered on the internet and newspapers. I’m a dupe for intellectually stimulating conversations and modern-day literary works. People fascinate me, therefore I enjoy reading up on sociology, anthropology, psychology—basically subjects that deal with the study of human beings. In short, I love learning, seeking knowledge and education. It’s a life-long journey that never ends.

I can imitate accents really well, if I’m not shy that is. And usually, I’m shy around people I don’t know. I write poetry and occasionally prose. I love observing people and the way they think and do things.

To conclude, this is how I describe myself on the cyberspace:

Arfa Shahid aka BoogieMonsterMan is a Dubai-born, slightly obsessive, toe-tapping, beat-box attempting, air-punching patriotic, Urban Dictionary defined hipster dressed in all black behind you in public places, who’s probably having religious, humanitarian or political debates with the voices in her head…no?

..And here are a few things I’ve said in the past:

“Since when did the passion for education become iconic of geeks/nerds? People in impoverished areas dream of having the same right to education that we enjoy so freely (and carelessly). And I honestly don't think I'd see those people dressed in thick round glasses with pants above their waist hugging onto their textbooks.”
“I've found that when you undermine someone's capabilities, everything they do seems downright pathetic. But when you give them a chance and fully appreciate whatever little skills they do have, their beauty, profound, emerges from deep within; powerful, even revolutionary.”

“You know, I have no idea why we're always the first ones to jump on the bandwagon & judge everyone. I don't remember God personally designating us as His chosen ones to do His job for us. There's a reason He's All-Powerful-- He's everywhere! He's knows everything. Chill. He's got this. Save the effort, and invest your energies in morality and good will.”

September 21, 2010

The Music of the Night

Brilliant post taken from PsychRant's blog. Go visit her, I promise you she's awesome :)

“Maybe we're not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we're thankful for the things we'll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.” – Meredith Grey.

I felt a lot of things today. I felt sad, happy, content, angry, annoyed, spirited and hopeless. All of it. I wanted to blog about it later, but I didn't really feel like it. I couldn't make myself get to it somehow. Then I walked on the terrace at night. It was b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l, to say the least. I promise. I stared at the stars for the first time. Like, actually stared. For looong. And the moon too. I didn't realize HOW pretty the sky was at night, until today. And I can't really write about it, cuz my stupid little distracted words are going to ruin it. Soo.

By night, an atheist half believes in God. ~Edward Young

We've made life quite stupid somehow. We've turned it into a big deal, when its really not so. We're all going to die. Why don't we take more risks? Why don't we be more reckless. We should be. And I don't mean it in a negative way. I'm talking about Good recklessness. Having the courage to take risks and not wallowing in misery and self pity if things don't turn out well. Seizing opportunity when we see it. Taking chances. But no, we all have to be soo over cautious about everything. So scared. So obsessed about being Happy, and achieving our Goals, that we forget to enjoy the process. And at the end, what else is there but the process? Life itself is a process aint it? Our priorities are messed up, i tell you. Seriously.

“Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently, they're not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things...They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs.

p.s. There's this movie where the guy's name is Art. Such an amazing name to have I think. Don't you? ^.^

September 18, 2010

Believe in the Power of your Success

When your success and your achievements ALWAYS appear insignificant or mediocre to someone, no matter how close or dear they are to you, it's time you realize that it's not you void of success-- it just means that you should stop evaluating your success with their perspective, because they will never be satisfied. Because they don't know how hard you've worked or how badly you've wanted this. STOP down-trodding yourself! STOP degrading yourself! You ARE good enough. And you deserve every bit of this success. YES, it IS infact, success. No matter how tiny or how big, it is still an achievement and you have STILL worked hard to achieve it. DON'T let anyone tell you that this is not big enough and not something to be proud of. Don't let them tell you you've still got to work harder to get to bigger heights. Yes, you DO have to work harder and achieve bigger things, but it's just as important to acknowledge and appreciate your little achievements, to pat yourself on the back and say. "Good job, you! You've done so well. I know you can do it the next time around as well. Just like you've succeeded this time, you will the next time as well. I have faith in you. I believe in you." If you've achieved something in life, success of any sort, any height, be it competitions in school or heading a youth conference, accept it and be happy with it and move forward. Work even harder but acknowledge within yourself that you are a successful person and will strive for continued success. Believe in yourself. Don't evaluate yourself from others' perspectives. Just don't. They will never see what it took for you to get where you are; the emotional struggles, the constant fight with yourself to stay motivated. Only you know what it took. Only you know the real price of this success. Believe in it. Believe in yourself. Don't shun your inner voice away. Just don't.
"Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably."

--Walt Disney

Purpose of Life

How many times have you questioned yourself-- "What is the purpose of my life?" "What am I doing here?"

I've noticed that we tend to completely overlook the real purpose of life, and get caught up in the small things. For example me, I want to be a lawyer. I want to be someone who's an active member of the society and contributes to social issues and global causes. Now I know that I love sociology, I enjoy reading about religion, spirituality, anthropology, history, politics, YET I never do it! It seems to me that I get caught up in what the society labels to be 'relaxation' aka facebook, mindless blogging, etc. that I never actually get to the 'serious stuff'. Instead of delving into these interests of mine, I spend hours indulging in the notion that mindless crap is relaxation.

I don't know if you're able to follow my train of thoughts, but basically what I mean is, we overlook the purpose of our lives and give into our momentary desires. As a Muslim, my ultimate goal in life is to attain Jannah, inshAllah. Now instead of me making use of my hours carefully, I spend hours reading about useless crap that will be of absolutely no benefit to me, or my career, or my goals, whatsoever. I do understand the importance of relaxing and just letting go, and doing something light and mindless, something where I don't have to think, you know? Relax my brain for just a little bit. But doing that for 5-6 hours at a stretch, spending entire days indulging in that? It's definitely something to be worried about.

This is just something that I realized today, and something that I'm resolving to fix starting today. Making better use of my time, and actually WORKING towards my goals. The four quadrants, the real deal.
What is YOUR purpose in life and how are you fulfilling it?

10 Reasons To Wear An Abaya

1. Instant glamour: Who says you need a little black dress for a cocktail party? Long black dresses are the new in thing, baby! Add some rhinestone-studded earrings, a statement ring, and high heels. Finish off with smokey eyes and nude lips and work the runway a la Marc Jacobs!

2. No more fat days: Feeling blue? Those extra pounds of comfort food settled on the most unflattering angles? No worries! An abaya will hide all those unsightly love-handles, and the long, flowing material will add to your height. Slim and tall, hello supermodel!

3. Ultimate rush-hour outift: Never be late for your office again! Want to make a pit-stop at the supermarket or late for a quick salon appointment? Button up, add a hip scarf and you're ready to go!

4. Camouflage like a chameleon: Imagine having a dress that you could wear on every occasion, and still manage to look completely different every time, ON TIME! Hanging out with friends? Add a fresh, bright, hip scarf. Going shopping? Go back to basics in black or add a neutral tone. Feeling bold? Add a scarf and some bright bold bangles. The possibilites are endless!

5. Ninja: Add a face-veil and the Ninja-like appearance gives you instant cookie-points. I mean, c'mon! Do I really need to elaborate on the inexplicable coolness of Ninjas? They win, every time, hands down, in an epic battle with the enemies!

6. Superwoman: Batman has his black cape, Superman has is red cape, Catwoman has her bodysuit. You have your Abaya. Customized, based on your preference. You have never appeared this amazing to your child or sibling. EVER.

7. Instant cool: Dubai's humidity suffocating you? With the loose flowy material of the Abaya, you're allowing more air to flow in and thus maintain a cooler body temperature. Built in AC? I think so!

8. Paparazzi-alert: Seen someone you run a mile away from? Need cover? Add a scarf, large sunglasses and no one will recognise you. Looking like a celebrity is an added bonus!

9. Money-saver: Don't fall trap to marketing gimmicks! Wearing an Abaya will ensure that you won't need to blow big bucks on buying clothes every month, and still make you look chic!

10. Happy hubby: Imagine the look on your husband's face when he finds out his time and money has been saved from those God-awful long hours at the shopping mall?! Priceless!

10 Authentic Things Leaders Do

What would your life look like if you had absolutely no fear? What kinds of things would you do if you lived from a frame of reference that your thoughts literally could form your world? How brightly would your light shine if you stepped out of the limitations that are keeping you small and stretched yourself well past your comfort zone into the place that you know, deep within, you are meant to be? Authentic leadership is all about being the person you know in your heart you have always been destined to be. Authentic leadership does not come from your title or from the size of your paycheck. Instead, this form of leadership comes from your being and the person that you are.

Here are 10 things that authentic leaders do on a regular basis:

They speak their truth. In business today, we frequently 'swallow our truth'. We say things to please others and to look good in front of The Crowd. Authentic leaders are different. They consistently talk truth. They would never betray themselves by using words that are not aligned with who they are. This does not give anyone a license to say things that are hurtful to people. Speaking truth is simply about being clear, being honest and being authentic.

They lead from the heart. Business is about people. Leadership is about people. The best leaders wear their hearts on their sleeves and are not afraid to show their vulnerability. They genuinely care about other people and spend their days developing the people around them. They are like the sun: the sun gives away all it has to the plants and the trees. But in return, the plants and the trees always grow toward the sun.

They have rich moral fiber. Who you are speaks far more loudly than anything you could ever say. Strength of character is true power - and people can feel it a mile away. Authentic leaders work on their character. They walk their talk and are aligned with their core values. They are noble and good. And in doing so, people trust, respect and listen to them.

They are courageous. It takes a lot of courage to go against the crowd. It takes a lot of courage to be a visionary. It takes a lot of inner strength to do what you think is right even though it may not be easy. We live in a world where so many people walk the path of least resistance. Authentic leadership is all about taking the road less traveled and doing, not what is easy, but what is right.

They build teams and create communities. One of the primary things that people are looking for in their work experience is a sense of community. In the old days, we got our community from where we lived. We would have block parties and street picnics. In the new age of work, employees seek their sense of community and connection from the workplace. Authentic leaders create workplaces that foster human linkages and lasting friendships.

They deepen themselves. The job of the leader is to go deep. Authentic leaders know themselves intimately. They nurture a strong self-relationship. They know their weaknesses and play to their strengths. And they always spend a lot of time transcending their fears.

They are dreamers. Einstein said that "Imagination is more important than knowledge." It is from our imaginations that great things are born. Authentic leaders dare to dream impossible dreams. They see what everyone else sees and then dream up new possibilities. They spend a lot of time with their eyes closed creating blueprints and fantasies that lead to better products, better services, better workplaces and deeper value. How often do you close your eyes and dream?

They care for themselves. Taking care of your physical dimension is a sign of self-respect. You can't do great things at work if you don't feel good. Authentic leaders eat well, exercise and care for the temples that are their bodies. They spend time in nature, drink plenty of water and get regular massages so that, physically, they are operating at planet-class levels of performance.

They commit to excellence rather than perfection. No human being is perfect. Every single one of us is a work in progress. Authentic leaders commit themselves to excellence in everything that they do. They are constantly pushing the envelope and raising their standards. They do not seek perfection and have the wisdom to know the difference. What would your
life look like if you raised your standards well beyond what anyone could ever imagine of you?

They leave a legacy. To live in the hearts of the people around you is to never die. Success is wonderful but significance is even better. You were made to contribute and to leave a mark on the people around you. In failing to live from this frame of reference, you betray yourself. Authentic leaders are constantly building their legacies by adding deep value to everyone that they deal with and leaving the world a better place in the process.

-Robin Sharma.

Disclaimer: All ideas, opinions, words, etc. expressed in the above lines are Robin Sharma's work. I do not intend to breach any copyright laws. Shared for the purpose of enlightenment and knowledge of the readers, and appreciation of good work.