One of the many things I am grateful for in my life, is the fact that I grew up watching some relatives rise from zero to above-average success. Of course, these people are not exactly Bill-Gates famous, but they could be considered leaders in their markets. One of them is a family member who we used to watch cartoons with as kids every summer when we used to go to Kenya. So today I’ll try to list down common traits that I noticed in them while I was growing up. Not all of those people were born with a golden spoon in their mouth; in other words they were just like you and me….so here we go;
1) They redefine the term ‘hard work’. If you think having a full 7am-5pm work day as working hard, then that’s not what their life is like. They worked 7am-5pm. Then they continued working until dinner time. Then they continued working until midnight. They worked until they were totally burnt out; so that when they hit the bed, they slept like babies. When they woke up, they didn’t have time to think of what they dreamt of at night. They also did not toss and turn in bed thinking about how hard it is to get out from underneath the blankets….They just got up and continued working
2) They can be annoyingly persistent. In short, they just don’t give up in whatever they attempt to do. Maybe they got robbed once or twice (once or twice??), or they got into trouble with business partners, or they got into financial holes, but they just never gave up. These problems were just challenges for them to overcome, and they did whatever it took to overcome them.
3) They are amazing people at heart. They give as much as they can. They are just kind-hearted. I remember once I was riding with one of them and an old woman was walking along the street. This person, just stopped, picked up the woman and asked her where she was headed for, then dropped her. Before leaving, the woman made duaa for the driver saying, “May Allah take you to Mecca and Hajj.” And I remember smiling to myself, ‘If the person was going to go for Hajj then he would definitely end up in Mecca.”
[Needless to say the person did perform Hajj a year or two later]
which takes us to the next point
4) Du’aa za ma7ababa (Ma7ababa means grandmothers in Swahili) or to be more exact, birr al waledein. One of them lived -and worked – a bit far from their mother, but they drove to see their mother twice every single day (and no, where the mother lived was not ‘on their way’ to work). Only exceptions are when something major happens, in which case they would call them by phone. And to think that this is a businessman who has so much in their hands already but they always took the time out to see their mother. Be true to yourselves, how many of us might live away from our parents, and have just one job, and yet we would visit during the weekend, or twice a month?
5) People love them. In general, they have that magnetic personality that makes people smile whenever they’re around. Some of them are pure comedians who just bring joy to their business partners, customers, etc…that people just want to spend time with them and help them in any way possible. Some of them end up with employees who are so loyal that if they were told to leave the job for one with a better pay, they wouldn’t…just because of that person.
6) They listen. To their customers, to their competitors, even to their children. They keep their mouth shut sometimes and listen.
7) They think outside the box. In their work, at home with their family…they try to be unusual, trying things that haven’t been tried before, so that after some time you might see people copying them.
8 ) They take risks. And this is one of the most important things that separates us from them. They are ready to take crazy risks. A lot of them have hit rock bottom; and I’m not talking depression or emotionally. But some of them have had to borrow transportation fare from their kid relatives. And some of them have had to share a meal with the whole family because things had taken a downturn and they couldn’t afford proper food. And some of them have been shot at (no kidding – but alhamdullilah the bullet missed and they survived). But this is how bad their lives got, and yet they venture into the unknown with nothing but faith in their hearts.
9) Last but not least, they share. They share their knowledge. They share their sources of inspiration. They share their joys and successes. They just share…
And it’s your turn to share this on FB and twitter
So how many of these traits do you carry?
Hadeeth of the day;
عن عائشة رضي الله تعالى عنها قالت : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ” إن الله يحب إذا عمل أحدكم عملاً أن يتقنه “
Hadith translation; “Allah loves someone who when works, he performs it in perfect manner (itqan)”
Quote of the day;
The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. – Vince Lombardi
Hadith translation courtesy of; http://medicalba.com/node/683