Dearest 7 year old Zainab,
You grew up with trials and tribulations, poverty at your doorstep constantly reminding you on all the things you need but could not obtain due to the hardship being faced at that time, but you persevered through the quest with hope and dreams of a better future. You dreamt of liberating your family (mum & sister) from hardships and being able to make changes for a brighter tomorrow.
Today, forty-nine years later, am proud of where you are. Your dreams became a reality, a bright future for you creating a ripple effect not only across your family but, Alhamdullilah in the lives of scores of others that you are fortunate enough to cross paths with, imparting wisdom and experiences via endless coaching, mentoring and role modelling. It is rewarding to see you have touched lives of those around you by sharing and multiplying the knowledge you have gained throughout your journey of labour and success across the globe.
All these achievements were made possible with hardwork, belief in self, continuous learning-driven mindset, positive thinking, sense of humility (not forgetting where you started from), gratitude, high performing mindset and love from family.
Honesty, Integrity, Respect & Excellence – these core values continue to be the rock in your life, taught by your mum and is coincidentally practiced in the organization your 56 years old self has been working in.
Not born with a silver spoon, you started your career at the very bottom of the organisation’s ladder. You moved up the ladder, one rink at a time, with your firm conviction to perform at your best, work hard and meet the expectations of your superiors. You were always open to feedback and took them as a gift, treasuring them as silver linings in the clouds (sometimes could be grey clouds).
You have met and continue to meet wonderful people who are great coaches, mentors and leaders that have made a difference in your life, while you continue to make a difference in the lives of others.
It is indeed thanks to the grace of Allah and to these remarkable people, mum and your family that you are who you are today.
Well done Zainab! You are not done yet, with gratitude in your heart, mindset to ‘Give it forward’, continuous efforts in your steps to contribute to capability development; remember “You have miles to go before you sleep.”