Aligning Personal & Professional Goals with Nihal Ahmed

Hello fellow Bloomians! 
This is Nour, Bloom’s community manager, sharing Bloom’s newest blog from the comfort of my home office (ie: my couch!) and I’m excited to share with you some amazing learnings from Ikiguide’s Nihal Ahmed’s webinar from last week.

You’re going to need a pen and paper for this, trust me!


Nihal started off his journey just as many young people do… at some kind of crossroads, confused about taking the next meaningful step in his life. He was 18 then, when he was destined to pursue a career in financing and banking. 

After long, he realized that there have always been 3 key questions that a lot of us struggle with:

  1. Who am I really? What am I great at? How can I contribute? What’s my purpose? How do I want to be remembered?
  2. What are the skillsets and mindsets I need to build? 
  3. How do I take the first steps towards the life I want to build? (Habits, rituals, lifestyle, starting a passion project…)

All his life, Ahmed’s spent answering these questions with as many interactive tools as he can with as many diverse people as I can. These are effective with kids and elderly people too!
One tool he’s created along the way was the Ikiguide, built to help people on their journey of self-discovery.

The webinar was a very interactive one. Nihal invited us to explore a few questions together, about us, personally, and in relation to our own company, journey, and the legacy we want to leave behind.

We’re at a point where there’s a lot of chaos and stressors around us.
Where are we feeling slightly off-center?

We need simple rituals to do a quick check-in. Pick a day and time, every week, to ask yourself this question. A calendar entry could help you hold yourself accountable! Which rituals can help you get your balance back?

Sometimes we don’t stop enough to ask ourselves: which of our needs are not being met? And what can I do about it? 

When we don’t address that, it could lead to burnout, loss of clarity, and stress.

This is where this list comes in. You can browse through it and ask yourself “how am I feeling about —?” Having this list handy can help us try to see where we are off-balance because we rarely know how to locate where we’ve been feeling off.

A simple ritual Ahmed’s created is asking a friend to play the role of a cheerleader for him. That friend would call him on purpose just to say “Hey, look at the amazing things you’ve done!” to give him some perspective.


YOUR SUPERPOWERS

As entrepreneurs, creatives, humans, we have incredible skills we’ve built with time. There surely was a time where we’ve been in a space where we swooped in and saved the day for somebody. What was that for you?

When did you save the day like a superhero would? Think of something you’re proud of, something extraordinary you’ve done.


YOUR PASSIONS

Think about what you’re passionate about. What makes you come alive? When were you so immersed in a project, you forgot to eat?

A passion is a high you get when you do something or are someone. 

What is the high you get when you do something you’re passionate about?
It’s not music, traveling… it’s translating our complex emotions onto something. It’s the ability to make something out of nothing.

An intriguing question he’s also asked is: what did you love doing when you were 10 years of age?


WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?

Zoom out and look at your journey. Why do you do what you do?

If your life was a verb, what would it be? All the things that you wanted to do your whole life. To listen, to teach, to enable, to create, to catalyze, to share, to empower…

Where are you able to exercise this? Where are you not able to exercise this?

We have to stop to think, “where am I not being fully authentic to my journey?”


VUJA DE

Vuja De is an interesting concept that Nihal introduced. It’s something you’ve often done or seen but, this time, you look at it differently. Ask yourself things you never really asked yourself.

Why? Why not? What if? How might we?

He invited us to create a Vuja De question.

For example, he showed us the production process of a shoe box. Very simple, something we often see. Then he asked, why would it be rectangular? Why not? What if it would be another shape? How might it be in another shape? What if we could carry them like bowling balls? 

We use Vuja De to open possibilities. 

I’ve compiled some Vuja De questions we’ve sent in the Zoom chat:
What if the future was built by people left out of it? What if there are ways of helping people that we didn’t figure out yet? What if there is more to this journey and greatness ahead than what we have already been through? What if everything works out?


WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO YOU?

What would that give you? What would that look and feel like?

Try to think of the kind of life you want to live, the kind of future you want to have.


WHAT’S YOUR NARRATIVE?

Things I know I’m great at, things that make me feel powerful, things that I’m passionate about… Why I do what I do.

For example, Deepak Chopra’s narrative is “I want to celebrate wisdom, collect pieces of wisdom from different walks of life and share it with the world.”

The vehicle doesn’t matter. You are on that narrative to bring meaning and richness into the world. What is that?

Once you have your narrative, create a frame, a learning journey, collect information through different sources – how can I share that with the world in the best possible way? How can I inspire people and spark something in them so they can support me or start their own journey?


Periodic table of wellbeing

I know that was a lot of information, but I also know it was so worth it. I couldn’t stop taking notes as I was listening and participating at the same time… it was truly thought-altering and reminded me of the Vuja De-s of life. 

If you enjoyed this, do your friends, colleagues, parents, frenemies a favor and share it with them! 

Follow us to stay updated about the next free webinars LGA is organizing! 

See you soon,
Nour from the Bloom Team 🌻 

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