Developing yourself is a corner stone in making your dream come true. In your pursuit, slow down and take some time to identify the knowledge and skills you lack and which are essential in your journey. For me, developing my writing skills were the most important skill I had to develop. My writing coach advised me to write for an hour daily and I do believe this tip helped me develop my creativity and my writing skills.
There are 3 steps to develop your knowledge and skills:
1- Identify clearly what you need to develop
For someone developing his time management skills is the one thing that will hugely affect his progress and enable him to achieve the summit of success. While for someone else it could be his presentation skills.
2- Identify the potential sources
Think of the sources you can refer to. Websites, blogs, Youtube tutorials, experts… etc Identify the possible sources and put them down on a paper.
3- Start your inquiry
Now that you know exactly what you need to know, what you need to learn and what you need to develop in addition to where to search, start your journey. Take an action and start developing the ONE skill that will be leverage in your journey.
You live only once, break the chain of fears, push yourself out of your comfort zone as you will start feeling truly ALIVE as soon as you step out of it.
I had read before about moments of enlightenment in which a person sees a sign or comprehends something from a different perspective. A moment in which his life alters and never return to what it used to be before this moment. This is exactly what happened to me in my kitchen while heating food in the microwave. It wasn’t the first time that my daughter asks to have a sleepover at one of her friends. It was the first time she accuses us, her parents, of not being open-minded. An accusation I was ready to ignore at this particular moment. The words that followed punched me, hearing her linking my actions with her adulthood and how my restrictions would let her feel empty and unfulfilled for the rest of her life.
I spent the days that followed comparing my life to hers and wondering, how despite all the suffer I had for being a ‘girl’ in an Eastern country, I was taking no action to let her live happier. How was I repeating the same history and wearing the mask of the open-minded educator at the International school where I work, taking it off on my porch?
Few days later my daughter left for a camp and I spent long hours reexamining my frames of reference. Questioning the choices I made in life and the way I raised my children. The ugly truth was so clear. I was an oppressor, having double standards while raising my children. Watering my daughter since she was still a child with rotten ideas. Her brother was more privileged and under my roof I was supporting gender inequality.
Culture, norms, traditions and religion were my companions during the weeks that followed. I started to ask big questions like: ‘why do I do the things I do and what if they were wrong? Why do I raise my daughter the way I was raised while I lived my childhood feeling weak, little and incapable? Why ‘what people would say’ was that important and till when we it will keep limiting our freedom of choice? Are Egyptians meant to remain entrapped and chained forever?
The answer for me was a need for a revival. One that starts with a journey inside ourselves. To question our beliefs and the reasons behind our daily behaviours and our poor choices. A revival on the things we were taught they were taboos and we weren’t allowed to discuss or to reconsider.
My daughter’s afternoon arguing resulted in Paradigm Shift and its first production ‘Fabulous Veils’. And I became a novelist, a writer and a public speaker, inviting people to examine their own frames of references, ensuring neither to refuse nor to accept old models unless they consider them from multiple angles. Fabulous Veils is one of the traces I intend to leave along my journey on earth. Between its lines I reveal the various forms of gender inequality and female oppression we must stop accepting in Egypt.
“Teamwork makes the dream work” John C. Maxwell
“Fabulous Veils is a novel that provokes deep feelings of pain, sorrow, loneliness, doubt & allows us to reflect deeply on the norms that we’ve been accepting without questioning in our culture.
The author crafted the characters is such a creative way, giving each a unique style of its own. Characters are created with so much details that one actually feels their presence. You could see a part of you in all three, because they are so real & human.
It brought a lot of mixed feelings to me, I cried, I laughed at some naive acts, I sobbed. Events are so catching and hard to predict.
It respects our minds, giving a logical reason for everyone’s behaviour.
Adding songs that relates to certain emotions & the descriptions that crafts the scenes makes it interesting, catching & a good companion for the reader till the last word of it.
It also brings hope in the future of the coming generations with some reflection, proactivity & determination.” Heba Anwar
I used to think that my dream is unachievable and that I will never ever be able to make it happen. I was right, because I always thought that it takes one person to realise the dream. ‘Asking for help’ was the perspective I had never considered.
In order to make my dream come true I turned to 54 persons for help. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness as many people thing. On the contrary, it’s a positive sign. It’s an evidence that the person asking for help is trying to develop, to progress and to evolve.
There are four steps to ask for help:
1- Change the mindset of ‘asking for help’ and look at it as a positive thing and as a sign of strength not weakness.
2- List all the questions you have and the help you need, write them down on a piece of paper.
3- Sort the points you listed whether it’s about knowledge, skills, emotional support, networking, mentoring, financial help or something else. Then identify who can offer you help in each point. Would it be free videos on the internet, a friend or a relative who has an experience in this field or do you need an expert to answer your inquiries or teach you a certain skill?
4- Offer help. Make it a deal with the universe that you will help and ask for help. Apply the laws of secret and you feel perplexed with the way it works. It’s magic
“Have been haunting me since I started reading it. It is truly a masterpiece.”
“While this novel discusses a lot of important feminist issues that need to be addressed in our society, its message is one that both men and women need to hear. It is about all of us and how we are the ones standing in our own way and only if we take the initiative like Iman did we can all achieve our dreams.” Aya Ahmed
In your pursuit of making your dream come true, your inner voice will be one of your worst enemies. It will start from the early beginning demotivating you and telling you lies. ‘You can’t, you won’t, who you think yourself you are, you don’t have the skills, you have no knowledge about it….’ are some of the lies my inner voice told me.
In order to face this challenge I learned that I must win this battle in order to achieve my dream. It included three steps:
1- Acknowledge its existence
Instead of denying it learn to embrace it. Remember that whatever you resist it will persist and hence instead of rejecting it, welcome it.
2- Don’t interact with it
Pushing it to the back of your mind and paying no attention to what it says. Don’t consider what it tells you and don’t engage with it in logical conversations.
The movie of Russell Crowe is what inspired me to do this. Watching ‘Beautiful Minds’ I admired how the main character avoided interacting with the imaginary characters his mind created. On my turn, I just welcomed my inner voice and saved it in the back on my mind.
3- Replace it with positive stories of people who faced adversity
Start creating louder voices. Positive ones. Remember the success stories that inspired you, the heroes you admired. Think of people who faced adversity and manage to reach the summit of success. Lisa Nichols and Oprah Winfrey for me where two inspiring role models.
Every time your inner voice starts to mumble repeat in louder voice “I will make it and I will succeed. My role model……… made it and defeated all the odds.”
Winning the battle over my inner voice was one of the main secrets behind realising my dream.
Is there a way for salvation?