The Oprah Style for Expanding Oneself

Born to a former maid and a coal miner, barber, and city councilman, Oprah Winfrey has been cited as the richest African American of the 20th century with a wealth of 3 billion USD net worth (Forbes, 2017).  Wow…How fantastic!

Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment,” is one of her inspirational quotes that she not only talked yet walked. Doing her best.

Doing the best..

Though the words sound easy ‘Do your best’, they aren’t. How can we know the ‘best’ next step? How can we be sure of what needs to be done? How can we have enough clarity of what we ought to change? The answer is Coaching.

Coaching is the universal language of change and learning,”CNN

Oprah was able to change her reality and to create a new life out of her very humble and simple beginnings. She decided to change and sought learning.

Lisa Nichols, in one of her motivational speeches, shared: “During the break of the Oprah Show Oprah asked me how many coaches did I have, I said two. What do you think I did in the next break? I asked her how many coaches did she have, she said three. What do you think I did as soon as I went home? I hired a third.

Who is Lisa Nichols? This is another ‘How fantastic’ story on how people are the creators of their own destinies, not luck, not circumstances, nothing but their own will to change and learn, to unlearn and learn, all to make the impossible possible. These two fabulous American women believed in the revolutionary effect of coaching on their development and success.

Coaching is all about having someone believe in you and encourage you, about getting valuable feedback, about seeing things from new perspectives and setting your sights on new horizons.”author unknown


#FabulousVeilsNovel#Book Review

“Fabulous Veils nous invite à réfléchir sur les rapports entre les hommes et les femmes en Egypte. A travers des récits de vies de trois femmes issues de différentes classes sociales qui partagent tour à tour leurs angoisses, leurs rêves et leur quotidien. L’auteur nous interpelle et nous incite à faire un bilan sur notre vie et à nous poser des questions sur notre rôle en tant que femmes et notre place au sein de la famille voire même au sein de la société.
A travers la voix de ces femmes et dans un style simple mais captivant ce sont des visions différentes du même sujet qui sont abordées avec délicatesse et pudeur.
Fabulous Veils éveille en nous toute une foule d’émotions qui se manifestent au fil émotions ressenties par les personnages; tantôt de la colère, tantôt de la joie, tantôt de l’inquiétude …

Je recommande vivement ce livre pour toute personne qui rêve d’un avenir où la liberté de penser, de parler, d’aimer et de vivre tout simplement est le seul mot d’ordre.”


Are We Speaking a Comprehensible Love Language?

Love, is it a source of happiness or distress? Years ago I read that love was the reason behind them both. That if we analysed the main cause for people’s suffer and dig deeply we’ll figure out that it’s due to lack of love.

In a previous article on Self-love I quoted Oprah’s words: “Your life is a journey of learning to love yourself first and then extending that love to others in every encounter.” This time I quote her same words while focusing on ‘extending that love to others”. 

How to Extend Love to Others?

Though we’re social beings, in our formal education we might have been taught how to develop social skills, how to work in teams, how to show respect for others, yet we’re never taught how to extend our love, how to express it.

Gary Chapman, in his book ‘The Five Love Languages’, explains that: “Psychologists have concluded that the need to feel loved is a primary human emotional need. Child psychologists affirm that every child has certain basic emotional needs that must be met if he is to be emotionally stable. Among these emotional needs, none is more basic than the need for love and affection. With an adequate supply of affection, the child will likely develop into a responsible adult. Without that love, he or she will be emotionally and socially retarded.

The Five Love Languages…

In his bestselling book Chapman introduced five ways to express our love to others, to fill their ‘love tanks’, to fulfil their most basic need. Our choice for the language won’t be based on the one we prefer or we master, it’ll be based on the language our beloved ones prefer and need. The languages are:

1- Words of affirmation

2- Quality time

3- Gifts

4- Acts of Service

5- Physical touch

Speaking the Wrong Language..

To fill people’s emotional love tanks, it’s essential to use their own language. Imagine someone speaking to you Chinese while you can only speak French and English, would you be able to comprehend his message? The same goes for love. The message won’t be received.

In my novel, Fabulous Veils, the three main characters loved their daughters, however, they were unable to fill their emotional love tanks. They spoke incomprehensible languages. Had they communicated with them, asked them how they needed to be loved, which language they preferred, not only the novel would have taken a different detour, their destinies would have altered too. They would have likely developed into responsible stable adults.

Solve Your Problems in 4 Easy Steps

One of the common things between us all as human beings is that we all face problems. What’s uncommon is our strategies in dealing with our problems. While some people would feel blocked, frustrated, angry and might even go to the extreme of feeling depressed, others don’t. The way we deal with our day-to-day problems has a great impact on the level of the life we live. The fishbone technique is one of the thinking tools I use to deal with the problems I encounter. It requires a sheet of paper and a pen and 4 easy steps:

1- Identifying the problem

Drawing a triangle and writing in it the problem as specifically as possible. ‘A problem with time’ is a very vague term to use for solving a problem. Not sleeping long enough due to lack of time sounds more specific.

2- Identifying the consequences of the problem

By drawing a line (as the body of the fish) and adding the bones on the lower side. On each bone add one of the consequences of the problem. Think of both long term consequences and short term ones. Think deep.

3- Analyse the causes of the problem

By drawing another set of lines for bones on the upper side and adding a cause on each bone. No matter how the cause sounds simple of superficial, just write down all the causes.

4- Identify the possible solutions

Add the tail of the fish and start writing down all the possible solutions. Write them in bulleted points and ensure that the solutions are applicable and realistic.

Take a final look at your fishbone and consider the full image. Start putting your solutions into practice. Scheduling the actions you need to take, asking for help, learning something new to go beyond the problem are possible steps you might need to take. Instead of complaining from a problem be proactive and fishbone it!


#FabulousVeilsNovel#Women are Oppressors

Fabulous Veils isn’t a call for women’s rights. The novel is inspired from true stories and displays the oppression of both men and women in Egypt. Whether it’s originated from false religious beliefs, rotten traditions, or norms the results are the same; a generation of oppressed youth. The novel is a call for reflection and self-correction.

Taste The Difference with NLP!

Have you ever tried to lose weight or to quit smoking? While many people did try, very few succeeded in sustaining the results. Why? This is one of the things I discovered along my journey to become an NLP Practitioner (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).

In most diets or habit changing programs, people tend to change the behaviour, paying little attention to the reasons behind the behaviour. 

Since I was a child I feared dogs. Just seeing any dog from a distance, I used to sweat and feel my heart beats racing. Currently, our Cocker Spaniel is my dear friend. I neither feel scared nor sweat. All this is due to NLP.

“The magic of NLP is representation. That there is a movie on our mind, a TV screen on our minds where something is represented.  It could be just an image, it could be a sound,  it could be an old sound track. We can go inside this movie or we can just observe. Representation, the genius of NLP, is that we can break thought down to these modalities of thoughts and each modality is like a leverage point for being able to manage change in representation. As we represent so we experience and feel,” Michael Hall.

Coaching one of my clients, she figured out how her mind represents  ‘dieting’ as a prison with metal bars. This was her representation for diet and hence no matter how many times she tried to lose weight she always ended up by escaping the bars of this prison and unchaining herself by eating freely and gaining extra weight, more than what she originally wanted to lose.


Hence, NLP is a communication model that describes how language (linguistics) affects our body and physiology (neurology).  The movies we play in the theatre of our mind do send messages (and even commands) to our nervous systems about what to feel and how to respond and so create our internal reality.

As a model of human functioning, NLP describes the processes and patterns (programming) that is currently governing our mind-body system and the processes and patterns that could enable us to “run our own brain” in new and much more resourceful ways. 

Instead of seeing dieting as a prison which she longed to escape, my client identified her desired outcome as ‘Becoming more energetic and confident.” Her representation for this desired outcome was seeing herself in a movie on her mind screen moving freely, looking confident and hearing applause. This is the magic of NLP. Instead of seeing losing weight as a prison, she saw it as a way to become confident and more active. Instead of seeing dogs as attackers who would bite me, I saw the Cocker Spaniel as a vulnerable puppy that needed my care as a newly born baby.

To attain sustainable results, we ought to focus on changing our representations; the movie on our mind screen.

“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.”