Little by little, a little becomes a lot. I had no idea that I’d be reaching 50 posts so soon. I started off back in 2014, just before I finished high-school. Let’s talk a little about how we got to this point, 6 years later.
As with everything in life, it started off as an experiment. There’s no better way to learn than from actually trying, so I attempted to use this space as a virtual journal. In this post, I’ll run you through the timeline of how things developed.
In 2014-2015, I was a little obsessed with my online presence. I took a lot of pride in the follower-following ratio, the aesthetic of my IG feed, twitter cliques and getting enough likes.
I was showcasing the best moments of my life, as social media often lures us to do. I’d say that I wasn’t mature enough to understand how to virtually socialize. I started this blog for the sake of starting a blog, coming from an egotistical place. My intentions were not aligned with my goals.
I carried on blogging every other month, about the most random aspects of my life. In 2016, it kind of all just stopped. When you’re inconsistent and your why isn’t clear, the motivation tends to dissipate.
Throughout 2016-2017, I went through quite a bit of emotional turbulence. I didn’t really know how to deal with my own insecurities or how to love myself. Those were key ingredients for low self-esteem. I’ve mentioned this before, but at the end of 2017, I took a social media sabbatical. (You can read more about it by clicking on the hyper-link)
That’s when things really started to change.
You don’t truly realize how toxic social media can be, until you step out of it. I had way more time than I could’ve previously imagined. I also had a lot of emotional energy that I needed to utilize.
At the beginning of 2018, I started journalling, meditating and reading! It started off in that specific order. Having a journal completely changed the way I took charge of my life. My thoughts and habits became a lot clearer to me. And as I’ve said before:
Better awareness – Better choices – Better results.
That’s exactly what started to happen. With my self-awareness slowly increasing, I started making much better choices that were aligned with my values. This ultimately led to better results.
I started off being a little skeptical with regards to meditation, especially from an Islamic point of view. But through constantly being grateful and remembering God, I opened the space for myself to sit in presence every morning. It’s all about intention, don’t forget that.
At the beginning, I was barely able to focus on my breath for 2 minutes at a time. So I had to use guided meditations for a while, until that increased to 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes. After that, I was able to sit with my own thoughts and just focus on my breath without needing a ‘guide’.
I used to read a lot when I was a child, thanks to my mother. Growing up in Saudi Arabia however, changed that quite a bit. Throughout middle school and high school, my focus shifted entirely to sports and gaming. I had no interest in reading anything, be that academic or even fiction.
After my mindfulness practice and journalling routine, I realized that I had a lot more to learn. Not only about those particular habits, but about the world in general. That led me to reading ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle.
It took me a few months to read that book, but once I actually completed it, my identity started to change. I was now a reader. Someone who could actually commit to finishing books.
As with every other habit, the more you deliberately practice, the better you get. I started reading books a little bit faster and started learning more about how to retain the information I was learning.
From finishing 3-4 books in 2018, I started finishing 1 book every month in the beginning of 2019. I had to make a conscious effort to achieve that goal. It got even better towards the end of the year, where I started finishing around 2 books a month. A few months after that and I now objectively read at least 4 books a month.
To bring us back to how I started blogging more seriously, I had an urge to share the knowledge I was gaining from all those books and the few habits I was forming. I tried blogging again, with consistency and intention. It started with the The Journey. I (Click the hyper-link to read my first post in 2018)
“The teacher learns the most.”
2019 was the year a lot of my habits fell into place. Everything that I had attempted to do over the previous year was now becoming part of my identity. My intentions were finally aligned with my goals and values.
“First you create your habits, then your habits create you.”
I became passionate about helping other people and serving the world around me. Aspire To Inspire became the motto. To help each and every one of us unleash our full potential and spread the knowledge we gain.
The objective now is to publish at least 2 blog posts per month. I’m also trying to get more people involved in the journey with me, to expand and grow.
Life is temporary. We’re all going to die eventually. Keep that fact in mind and allow it to vitalize your every day. Starting small and staying consistent will always help you sustain your habits. This will then help you become the person you wish to be.
Make it obvious. Make it attractive. Make it easy. Make it satisfying. Don’t only focus on what you need to get done, focus more on who you need to be.
A friend of mine recently told me something really inspiring: “The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.”
I’d love to know more about the aspects that have helped you develop into the person you are today. Please feel free to share your story or comment your views on mine in the section below.