this book is about you
Not who you are, but who you were meant to be.
by NABEEL QADEER
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About The Book
The dilemma is this – we feel we are not who we were meant to be, we are far from what we can be and we don’t know who we are. Most of us exist in our least effective forms. The one person we know the most but choose to be blind about is the self; and this is what this book is about – YOU.
Reflection is a repeated theme in the book. The process makes you see your life through multiple angles. It forces you to breakdown the reasons behind your choices so you can see if they were your own or were adopted by your environment. The more aware you are of why you did what you did, the better you can gauge how far away you are from the mean. True progress can only begin once you are back at the starting line.
You will emerge as a more mindful, grateful, big-hearted and a focused version of your ‘self’ by the end of this journey. The chapters are numbered such that they take you from 0 to 1.
If not you, who? If not now, when?
A TIMELESS CONTRACT
You don't exist
This is where we set the foundation. For you to become the best version of yourself, you first need to let go of the old you. These few pages will tell you how you didn’t exist so far, even though you thought you lived a life on your terms. In this chapter, understand the way your innate nature works.
back to the basics
So, what next? How do you proceed towards this life of change? Here you will find a lot of words being redefined for you. You will also find the tools with which you can explore your life further. A mix of all that you have read so far is what will be further explained in the later chapters with much detail. Understand the way your mind works and then work towards controlling it.
MORE THAN LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
This is the anchor of the book. Knowing how to reflect is the key with which you will truly move forward and grow. You will find yourself coming back to this chapter hopefully throughout your life. This has been my strength, and now will be yours.
Put yourself under the microscope. Use the power of reflection to know where you are restricting yourself. Why is it that you are not growing the way you want to? Why are you still in your comfort zone? How aware are you of your ego? Do you have self-esteem? It’s time to face the reality.
IT'S A COMPLEX SITUATION
Ever wondered why you do what you do? Why you behave the way you do? How much of you is real and fake? Why does your best self not appear to the world? What are the fears that are holding you back? Are you even aware of the ways in which your mind has been controlled by the people around you? Learn about your complexes if you want to break and fight them.
DRAWING THE ARROW
It’s time to give the self a direction. How does one build focus, sharpness and why are they needed? How are your circles influencing you? Why do you have a need to be liked and accepted? How does the extra baggage of your life slow you down and how to identify it. This chapter is about ridding your mind of all that it does not need.
MISSING THE POINT
Get reacquainted with the power of time. Even if you fix your life to the last detail, it will not prove to be effective without the realization of time. Do you find yourself struggling throughout your day and not being able to deliver the best you can? Are you not evolving and changing as fast as you’d like to? Fix your timing and you’d have your life back in control.
Once you have your basic definitions, tools to identify the self and a direction, the last step is to put it in action. How do you handle your self in any situation? Is there a split between a professional and personal life? How does one become an effective professional keeping all of the above in mind?
WALKING THE TALK
What does it ideally mean to internalize the change you bring in your life? How do you make it a part of your mental culture? How do you radiate this change wherever you go? How does your effort convert to effortlessness? What does this have to do with being mindful, thankful and grateful? How has the absence of these things hampering your growth so far?
THE LAST FEW MILES
What is in a leader that’s not in YOU? How sure are you of these assumptions?
THE MISSING LINK
What is the one thing that is still keeping you from creating your impact? What’s that missing link between who you are and who you can be?
This book will speak about the obvious, the known and the understood. It will speak of effectiveness and it will speak of life. Once these two get intertwined, you find your purpose.
The quantity of our life is not in our control and we have somehow made peace with that. The quality of life is what we strive to enhance. Like most, I found myself in the quest of improving it as well. Over time, however, I discovered that the answer lies in realization, and that is what changed everything.
The purpose of the book is simple – to make you the best version of yourself. It’s an on-going, never-ending process in the journey of life. This book is about change with tangible steps. If you take one thing from this book, let it be the tool of reflection. It is something I acquired very early in my life and now it is my gift to you.
In this book, we will explore a state called impact. To reach this state, you need to take a leap from who you were to who you want to be. This leap can look like a small pit or a deep trench. What it will be for you can only be determined through an element we will eventually discuss.
Once you are on your journey of realization, you will find yourself alter your path multiple times. You will feel an increase in empathy, wisdom and in the size of your heart. You will find yourself to be more centered, better at decision making and free from the ailment of comparison.
Everything in this book is tried and tested. I have lived my life on these words. Over the years, I have shared bits of this book with my students, startup founders, teams, managers and everyone else who has come my way. There has been one common trend among all of them – they returned with questions or left with a thought.
The time I spent writing this book has mostly been dedicated to recalling those questions and building simple models around them. Each discussion is curated in such a manner that it will apply to you regardless of who you are. You will have to read, practice, question and then read again to fully explore the depth of each chapter. Hidden in every word is an insight to your life; all you have to do is reflect. A recurring feedback I received while writing this book was that it is difficult to understand. My viewpoint is different – it is not difficult to understand, it is difficult to implement.
Read this book with a belief that you were created at your best. But, somewhere along the way, you slipped into mediocrity and lengthened your journey towards a highly effective life. This book shall hopefully remind you of your true status and return you to your mean. You will find the pages free from clichés and motivational quotes. There is nothing wrong with them, but they are nothing without context. The few incidents mentioned are my own, and they are so by design. The goal is to make YOU effective, and to show you how it can be done in everyday life. There are stories of sports, college life, projects, professional life, triumphs, upsets and more. There is nothing in this book that you have not or will not experience.
It really is a book about you.
Another major key takeaway will be the redefinition of words. You will find an emphasis on thoughts-words-actions throughout. This too is for a good reason. Before the world could set limitations on your existence, you did it on your own. The poor and underwhelming definitions of words that we use have stunted our mental and spiritual growth. Without this particular realization, don’t expect to break out from the rut of your life. Let this book take you back to the clean slate you were made on and redefine your life once more. After that, you are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul.
Each chapter lays down the foundation for the next. The journey has been designed in a way that it will take you step by step into your own self. Don’t jump, skip or assume that you know. Even if you do, there is always more for you to explore. Do ponder over the order of the chapters; do think why they have been numbered such. When you arrive on the theme of leadership, do reflect on all the chapters to understand why the journey has led you here. Highlight all the lines that made you think and question, underline what you didn’t agree with and debate it. The more you spread what you read, the more you deepen your understanding.
I wrote this book after spending a life that I did. You will read this book after living a life you did. The context, meaning and intention might or might not be communicated to each one. Words will be interpreted and translated differently in different reader’s mind, and that is how it should be. When you go out in the world and transfer something you learned, you receive a perspective you didn’t have. When this cycle is reiterated multiple times, it changes your outlook on life.
Imagine the quality of your conversations if you start living your life with the intent to make it better – to find your true self. Now, go back to the start and read this again – there was something said about quality…
In this process, you will explore the way your mind works and follow the journey of thoughts, words and actions. Words in your mediocrity box that govern your life will be redefined for you by you. You will understand the importance of having values and a belief system, and also learn how to make one. You will find out where you lie on the self-esteem and ego meter. How strongly your perceptions and narratives about everything in your life have been influenced by the media, your friends and society will be laid out in front of you. A strong mind does not take perceptions, it makes them.
We start this book with 0, our mean state. Segmented over three sections, each chapter is a step closer to 1, our identity, the state we were meant to be in. The book ends with Chapter 1 but that is essentially the beginning of your effective life.
The belief of one man is the echo of the future. Belief shows, it penetrates, it shines through, it reflects in every word, every action, and every thought...
If I had to declare something as my most prized possession, it would be my ability to reflect.
Nabeel Qadeer in Chapter 0.2
About the author
Nabeel Qadeer is a Pakistani entrepreneur, business coach, consultant and content producer. He is on a mission to rebrand Pakistan and believes in the power of youth. His true passion lies in teaching the future of tomorrow and for them he has written this book.
Penned in these pages is the ethos of his life and what he has learned from his experiences. He identifies his ability to ‘reflect’ as his biggest strength, and this is what he hopes to teach through this book.
Nabeel always leads by example and by including personalized anecdotes in these chapters, he is doing that yet again. This book contains stories of the ‘right’ heroes; people like you.
The direction is clear – to be able to find your most effective self. This journey of leadership, clarity and self-belief starts and ends with one thing – YOU.
Hence, this book is about you – not who you are, but who you were meant to be.