My Radio Islam Interview + Special Offer

I was recently interviewed on Radio Islam regarding the books I’ve written:

  • Open the Door to a Wealthier Life: discusses personal finances, money management, how to invest, what halal investment options are available, etc.
  • Ultimate Beast, Ultimate Battle: a book about tigers and wildlife conservation.
  • Bilal and the Big Bully: an entertaining children’s story that discusses dealing with bullies.

This was my first time doing something like this, but it was a lot of fun and a good learning experience. I hope this interview inspires others to also pursue their passions and make their goals a reality, whether it’s writing a book or something else.

Additionally, in celebration of this, I’m offering my money management & halal investing course on Udemy for free. However, this offer will expire on December 31st, 2017. You can enroll in the course at no cost using the link below:

A Muslim’s Guide to Mastering Money

Enjoy!

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Dangers of the Rear-View Mirror

When driving, the rear-view mirror serves an essential purpose. It gives you visibility to what’s coming up behind you so you can be aware, be prepared, and take appropriate safety measures.

In life, though, sometimes we use the proverbial rear-view mirror a little too often. Some of us may look back at times in our lives when things weren’t quite so good. Maybe we grew up poor or faced some other difficulties. Maybe we felt held back, that circumstances prevented us from reaching our full potential. Things may have been unfair or unjust. Perhaps we wish things turned out differently.

While some of those feelings may be perfectly reasonable, the problem with looking back too often is that we can get stuck in a mindset of the past. Either consciously or subconsciously, our mind can become too focused on negative aspects of our lives, unable to look and move forward.

My suggestion is to review those past circumstances to see what can be learned from them, but then decide to let them go. The fact is that we can’t change anything that happened. We can’t time travel in order to alter past events and make our present day lives something else. We have to work with what life has given us and deal with the present situation as-is.

Instead of becoming stuck in the past, I recommend forming a clear picture in your mind of the life you want now. Focus on this picture and have a determination to achieve this life, and you will naturally take steps towards that goal. Have faith that you will be able to achieve the life you want. But if you spend too much timing looking in the rear-view mirror, you may inadvertently drift back to the life you once had.

10 Easy Tips to Improve Your Charisma and Get Ahead in Life

Let’s face it. People with charisma — that special personality trait that attracts others to them and makes them likable — seem to get ahead in life. Whether one is interviewing for a job, making a sales pitch, giving a talk, or networking at a social gathering, charisma increases the chance of success.

I’ve long believed that charisma is a trait that one is either born with, or not. However, after doing some research, I’m a little more open to the possibility that the average person can build charismatic qualities. Following are 10 tips to increase your own charisma:

  1. One of the most important aspects of charisma is to be genuine. People will eventually see through insincerity, so strive to be true to yourself. There’s no substitute for honesty and integrity.
  2. Improve eye contact when speaking with others. This can be challenging for introverts like myself, but a little practice can really help you make a connection with other people.
  3. Smile. There’s nothing quite like a warm, natural smile to connect with someone on a deeper level.
  4. Have a firm handshake, but not an aggressive one. Your hand should be vertical, and you should maintain eye contact and smile. Don’t use the handshake as a power play or an act of machismo.
  5. Improve your posture. If your shoulders are slumped forward and your face is looking downwards, you won’t exude power or confidence. Stand up straight and tall, shoulders naturally back, with a somewhat wide stance.
  6. Whoever you are speaking with at the moment, make them feel like the most important person in the room. Show interest in what they are saying and ask open-ended questions. Aim to improve your listening skills rather than formulate your response while they speak.
  7. Compliment people. Compliments should be specific if possible (i.e. “That shirt looks really sharp on you.” vs. “You look nice today.”). More importantly, compliments should be authentic. If you toss out compliments like candy, you may come across as desperate or like you want something from the other person.
  8. How something is said is just as important, if not more so, than what is said. Have the correct tone of voice and body language for that specific occasion.
  9. Enhance your voice. We are largely stuck with the voice we have, but you can bring out the best of what is available by breathing deep into your belly via your nose and breathing out slowly through your mouth. Reduce the intonation at the end of your sentences so people don’t falsely assume that you are unsure of yourself. Project your voice as best as you can, depending on your environment. Your tempo should be slow and measured, with pauses for important points.
  10. Pause. Don’t underestimate the power of the pause. It can make you appear more thoughtful, and it gives your listener a chance to absorb what you just said. It can also add drama or power to what you say next. If someone asks you a question, pause for a second or two before replying.

There are also a couple of interesting points I’d like to make. One is that a person’s level of charisma can fluctuate on any given day, so it’s not fixed. The other point is that one can be both introverted and charismatic, so introverts shouldn’t feel that they will never have the charm of an outgoing person.

I still think there is a natural level of charm that some people have that cannot be learned, but the tips above will enhance your charisma and hopefully help you move up in life.

Got Goals?

Goal-setting might seem like a dreaded chore, but not having goals is like driving with no destination in mind. Goals provide direction in life.

When it comes to setting goals, it’s important to be as specific as possible. Vague goals, such as “I want to get in shape,” are not likely to materialize. On the other hand, if you have a very specific goal, like losing 10 lbs., then it’s much easier to identify the individual actions needed to reach that goal.

Furthermore, writing down your goals creates commitment. Having a document you can refer back to regularly will remind you of what you’re working towards. Otherwise, goals will be out of sight, out of mind.

Goal-setting should be taken a step further with deadlines. If you wish to simply accomplish a goal “some day,” that day may never come. By setting a deadline, you will feel a sense of importance and (healthy) pressure and begin taking the actions that lead to the realization of that goal.

Here’s another way to think about it… If you work a normal office job and spend 8-9 hours at the office, don’t you (consciously or subconsciously) spread out your work during that duration? Now, what if you had to get your work done in 4 hours? It would force you to prioritize your tasks and work more efficiently and productively…and it would leave you with more free time to do the things you actually want to do. In essence, create a sense of urgency.

All the best in achieving your goals!