In an interview with The Elixir, Najwa Noman – through her knowledge and skills – shares with us some secrets to unleashing one’s potential and connecting to his/her better self.
Najwa Noman is a Certified Life Coach going by the Competencies of the ICF, Certified Consultant by Birkman, Certified Trainer and an Ambassador of the International Academy of Personal Development. She has also worked in the field of Education, where she helped students overcome the challenges of test- taking and helped them best present themselves to international universities.
“In the pursuit of happiness you have to exert focus, intention and moderate effort.”
You just prepared your coffee and are now heading to your room. You have just laid fresh sheets on your bed, your favourite, flowered patterns of the palest shades of purple. You sit by the window. Coffee in your hand, its aroma mixed with that of the recently washed sheets, you are happy and nothing could possibly go wrong. Your senses are activated and you are completely absorbed in your surroundings. The past and future do not exist; it is only the present that matters.
This is what being “in the moment” really feels like.
Often do we hear the phrase “You have to live in the moment” and how much effect it has on our inner peace. Yet, it is not much applied in real life. We rarely take our time to appreciate our surroundings and lose ourselves for a moment. We are too much burdened with the materialism of our life that we pay little attention, if any, to what is happening inside and outside of us. “Being in the moment” is a cliché that has to be a reality. It is a skill that won’t be honed until you do practice it till you perfect it.
Try it, and see how your life starts changing.
Being in the here and now protects you from disappointment. If you succeed in indulging yourself in the current activity, heart, mind and soul, you set aside all the other emotions that might generate anxiety or fear. People often question, how can I achieve this? How can I completely become self- aware and forget about all other distractions that often result in negative feelings? The answer is quite simple. You have to activate your senses. Be hundred percent aware of what is going on your surroundings, the sounds, the aromas, the sights…etc. How does it feel to see that particular painting? How does it feel to smell the aura of hot chocolate on a very cold night? How does it feel to sense the fabric of the throw blanket you just bought? In short, what are your senses bringing to your life?
Being aware of all this gives you a great command on what comes to your life. It helps you handle situations by estimating them and then deciding on how you would want to react to them. You are in control of choosing the angle or perspective in every situation, because you are aware of how you want to feel and how much you allow something or someone to take control of this moment, your life. Once you are aware of what is around you, you are in control of how you perceive things. It is not a luxury only the rich can afford. It is simply a skill.
Many people feel crippled and blame it on their circumstances, the place and environment they find themselves in. Being in a war-torn country as Yemen, for example; no doubt limits chances but it does not eliminate them entirely. This is because every human being is born with his own chances and his own potentials, circumstances and backgrounds have no influence over them. You start by believing that you have the potential to succeed just like any other person in the world. You accept who you are and where you are, then you start working on it. You may get that job that does not pay well; you may be disappointed that it won’t cover your expenditures or help support your family. But what you should focus your energy on is that you did not have a job, and now you have one! Embracing chances, no matter how unappealing they may seem, creates more opportunities and opens more channels. You getting this job, that does not pay much, will certainly open more doors for you. You will meet more people and you will get more experience. By this you have seized a chance that was not so tempting but has qualified you for further opportunities. What you have done here is you have increased the number of probabilities that can lead you to what you really want by fully accepting the chance you came across.
You plant the intention to have a good life, whatever the circumstances and no matter what obstacles may come your way. You do not have the time or the energy to be carried away with the negativity of all what is going on, you intend to be happy and you will work to make it happen.
A definite plan helps extend your potentials to the fullest, and it begins with having the “intention” to succeed. Time you are not planning well is time wasted. If you do not have a particular intention, you will be part of others’ intentions. If you are roaming around aimlessly with no goal or target, people will call out on you to help them with theirs, and thus, you become an active member to fulfill their intentions instead of yours.
If you decide on a plan, no one and nothing can go against it. When you make a plan you familiarize with the journey and thus you become more aware of the consequences. This makes overcoming hardships easier and gives you the ability to move around that what you cannot change.
“I must live by my values and set my goals accordingly. I will never feel fulfilled until my goals are aligned with my values”
Your values are different from those of others. Even shared values have different degrees of applicability. When you realize this, you automatically start understanding other at times sympathizing with them. You gain a mature understanding of the fact that someone’s reaction to a certain matter is different from yours because his values simply are. Values are important because they control your life. They decide what drives you in life and what inspires your choices. They help you better understand your mission, and you manage to understand how you want to live. Setting your values draws your vision of life.
Going from the SWOT matrix, a strategic planning technique, take a piece of paper and write down all your points of strengths and weaknesses. Because you need to encourage your self-esteem, you begin working on your strengths. Working on your strengths will give you the courage and confidence to move later to your weaknesses and work on them too. Your strengths create opportunities. Being good at teaching is a strength, cooking is a strength, being compassionate and close to others is a strength. Once you have acknowledged your strengths, you will start creating opportunities. As you start seizing the chances you have created through your strengths, you start unleashing your potential and you become a better version of yourself.
Now that you are stronger by your strengths, you are ready to start working on your “barriers”, namely your weaknesses. You work on them step by step until you have succeeded in changing them to strengths, hence creating more opportunities.
After you have realized your values, put your intentions, worked on creating opportunities out of strengths and honed your not-very good skills to turn them into strengths rather than weaknesses, you come to the step of living your mission and getting it to grow and expand as the world does.
“We have to have faith in God and believe in ourselves; we have to follow the steps we have planned carefully yet passionately . Our mission should always benefit others too and surely with lots of passion, there is no way you don’t end up somewhere greater than you have ever thought.”
In figuring yourself out and in the empowering journey of self- discovery and potential unleashing there is a very important factor that one must consider: You have to take your time. Do not overwhelm yourself by wanting to reach the destination before everyone else. Do not rush. Trust your own pace, and enjoy the journey.