UmYazan's Blog

So I am listening to the 5am Club on Audible… more on Audible later, and with each chapter that goes by, I am realizing more and more how profound and fundamental the lessons are in the book! It makes me want to listen over and over and practice the habits daily… The thing is, I started to notice when I have a good day and when I have a not so good day simply by how I start off my mornings! Here’s a look…

  1. Wake up at 5am. When I do this, and jump right out of bed and start my morning, I have the time I need to have my moment that I can enjoy my coffee, the sound of the birds and catch up on reading… Until 6am. Then I go for my early morning workout. These days it’s just a walk or a short run, but it sets my day right. I am more conscious then, of what I am going to eat, how I will handle my day and my tasks and what I will achieve during the day. During my workout, my mind is clear, and ideas pop into my head, the creative hour is during this 6am walk/run workout!
  2. Small, frequent advances lead to unimaginable results over time. This quote is from the 5am Club… a 1% change in your daily routine means a 30% increase in your productivity over one month! So true… building habits, small ones, help you achieve massive results… it’s so simple!
  3. If you say you can’t, you have already failed. The brain is like a muscle, we have to train it like we train at the gym, or when running long distances. We have the capacity, as humans, to be geniuses, to be leaders, to be creative, but it is only the very few that achieve greatness simply because they CHOSE to step out of their comfort zone and do what others have failed to do, i.e. train themselves to achieve greatness. There is a quote that I love, We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Anyone can achieve what they want to do, they just have to do what the 95% are not willing to do.

I really felt the need to share these small but very significant fundamentals. Again, I have been applying these theories in my life for quite a while now but The 5AM Club has communicated them so well that I can’t help but to keep sharing and resharing these ideas.

So this continuous on again off again relationship with my blog has got to stay ON. I keep saying this and  writing this, but it seems I keep getting sidetracked. I blog and then I stop. But what I have been doing consistently is keeping a journal and it’s been such a relief and such a wonderful outlet. So I do believe that writing and letting the emotions and the thoughts spill out on paper or on a keyboard is a wonderful outlet for any negativity AND a way to REINFORCE positivity into your daily routine… So once the negative emotions are out, the positive ones can take up space in the form of a daily affirmation. It can be a thought, a paragraph or a list. I use the list approach as it I enjoy and can remember the short affirmations to make my daily routine successful and better.

They say that a blog should be anywhere from 400 to 500 words. I am now on word count 167 and running out of things to say and that’s ok. With practice and once I get back into blogging regularly… the words will flow faster, they will flow in a more eloquent way and the messages I send can be more interesting and inspiring.

Won’t be sharing this post on social media as it is just a rambling right now… hence no need to share anything except that the only way to get back on track again is to JUST START.

On a parting note, I highly recommend y’all read The 5AM Club. This book has communicated wonderfully what I have been doing intrinsically on again off again for many years. But I am so inspired again to continue and get back up on the bandwagon as the words and the messages and the teachings in the book are truly TRANSFORMATIONAL and they absolutely work.

I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while now… it’s been three weeks since I’ve blogged (ok I’ve been a bit lazy) but this topic has been playing around in my head for some time…

We sometimes fail to take stock of everything that we have… even if we consider it very little or nothing… While I guess I’ve always held this attitude in life and for me it’s part satisfaction, part happiness and part fulfilment, to be grateful always, to  have a positive outlook whenever I can. I’ve had my bad days, but then I remind myself to take stock and everything seems to fall into place.

There are so many of us that don’t realise the blessings in our lives, even on the small day to day matters… and what I find fascinating is how many people do not realise how lucky they are… even when they believe they are unlucky, unhappy, unhealthy, unloved, under appreciated…

In this time and age, where I see so much suffering and desperation, people losing their homes to fruitless wars or leaving their homes to work in other countries only to be treated harshly and with disrespect I have gratitude to have a home at all… that my children have a roof over their heads, that we are able to put food on the table for three squares a day and snacks and that we can sleep at night in the warmth of our beds.

With so many people around us looking for a job, I am thankful that I have one… that I have a salary and that I can even save a little. For my friends that can’t save for the time being, I remind them to be thankful and have gratitude that they have a job and a salary and able to make ends meet…

When my youngest falls and scratches his knee I tell him be thankful you didn’t need stitches… for my friends that sprained an ankle, be thankful you didn’t break it… for the one that broke his her leg, be thankful you have your legs still… for those that had to amputate, be thankful for having other limbs and for your life, and for those that have passed on, I am thankful for them that now they are in a better place, and for me, as I am deeply spiritual, I am thankful they are with God.

I saw a beautiful video clip about having gratitude, how it helps reduce cortisol levels, how it helps have a brighter more positive perspective on life, how it makes us more AWAKE and AWARE of all the blessings around us. I wish I could share that video as it opens up an attitude toward life and perspective that many of us fail to see…

So the next time you are feeling down, out of luck, upset, stressed for what you don’t have or didn’t get or ended up with or didn’t want, reflect back on just the opposite, remind yourself that it could have been worse, remind yourself that to be alive and aware and to be able to be in your place is a blessing… so have gratitude, be thankful.

And nothing wraps it up better than this quote,

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie


Yes! You read the headline correctly. Failure IS awesome!

There are tons of blog posts on this topic. Why failing is the path to success… why you need to fail in order to succeed. Why you shouldn’t give up, etc. etc. etc. And you know what… they are ALL right… In order to succeed, you must fail. It comes at a price… but let me tell you why I think it’s awesome… not only to succeed, but also to come to terms with what you CAN DO and what you NEED to do in order to improve.

Let’s get something straight though… I’m not saying that every failed attempt will lead to success. Some failures will stay with you forever. You won’t succeed… but those lessons you learned, when you failed, and didn’t succeed, will help you succeed in something else. Because behind every failure, is a lesson. And if you look for that lesson, and understand what happened, you can apply those principles to something else that might actually help you SUCCEED….

So let rather than babble, let me tell you what I mean…

I’m awful at telling jokes and stories. I suck. I laugh before I reach the punchline. I deliver the punchline at the wrong pause… But I still insist on telling jokes… and making sure that I laugh at myself for making a bad joke. I can’t help it. It’s just me… some people are talented at telling stories and bringing you to the climax of the story and segueing into the punchline, or joke, or perfect dramatic moment. I have no such talent. So I’ve learned that I can’t be a standup comedian. And if someone makes fun of me for that sucky delivery, you know what… I laugh even harder. Because I know that my talent is not here and that no matter what I do… I will always suck. Failure taught me not to stop telling jokes, but to enjoy, and laugh with, those laughing at me for my silliness.

I’ve failed to meet objectives or expectations people decided on my behalf that I didn’t realize were set for me! I thought I had delivered on a particular task at work. From my perspective. But it turned out that my perspective is not the only thing that matters. Or my understanding of that objective. So while some may say, communication would have resolved this point, there will ALWAYS be your perspective and someone else’s. So don’t let this bring you down. On the contrary… listen to the varying perspective, understand where you missed the mark, align your new objectives and be on your way.

I wrote a blog post on the IronMan that didn’t happened. Where I failed to finish. But if I let failure stand in my way, I wouldn’t have gotten my finisher medal 54 days later!

I believe this blog post is a FAIL… LOL. I have written better ones… not sure if my message got across but I needed to put this out there… The more I blog on a regular basis, the better I will become. I will post some terrible posts… case in point. And maybe some gems will come along the way…

I just needed to get this out of my head and out in writing somewhere… to be lost amongst the digital world… showing up on Google search page 54 at the bottom somewhere…

Ok that paragraph above just reminded me of my first blog post I ever wrote and it was on MySpace I think and Zaid Talhouni and Ramzi Ghurani had a big laugh… because I started it off with… Hello Cyberspacers… and I even had the time and date referencing Star Trek… Wallah ana funny! HAHHAHAHAHAHHA

Peace out. Fail. It’s OK to Fail.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

So last week I was suffering from a mild case of writers block… so I asked a few friends for ideas on what to write about and they came back to me with similar themes… how to be a mom, working and training for the sport that I have come to love… How can you do it all Wajeeha?

Well here’s the thing… you can’t do it all. It’s impossible. Anyone that says they can do it all is not telling you the entire truth…

But what I can tell you is that there’s things you can do to make it work!

I love being busy. And I also love having time off and me time. So the minimum standard is to make the time for all of the above.

Most people don’t realise how much time we waste doing trivial, non-productive activities. From wasting time in front of the TV, to browsing social networks, to playing games on PlayStations or whatever. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t waste time. I love lounging around doing nothing… but it’s planned ‘numb’ time.

So here’s what my typical day looks like.

5am. Wake up. Drink coffee. Browse social networks. Read something beneficial (like an HBR article or one of the many books I’ve been reading… currently 80/20 Principle).

6am. Dressed for a workout. Either the gym or a power walk or run or swim.

7:15am. Shower. Get dressed. Have breakfast. Most important meal of the day. Breakfast!

8:15am. Drive to work. A friend of mine recommended listening to Audible or a Podcast on the way to work. I’m usually jamming to Anghami but I’ve listened to a few books and podcasts on the way to work and it helps with the morning nothing traffic.

8:45am – 6:30pm. Work. And the usual work-related events, activities, meetings, etc. I love my job and the people I work with. It makes a big difference when you come to work looking forward to the challenges of the day. Because I work with such an amazing group of people, it makes all the stresses and challenges at work manageable.

6:45pm. Home at last. So now it’s mom time! I try to have a chat with the little one who loves to talk. Usually about football and PES and his football skills. My eldest is usually studying so I try not to ‘annoy’ him. Teenagers are a whole another world. Dinner and then it’s bedtime.

8:30pm. Bedtime for the little one. And I’m not going to apologise for getting into bed at the same time. I’ve had a long day. I’m usually asleep by 9:30pm.

Weekends I have more time to lounge around and hang with the kids. Sometimes it’s just being in the same room with the kids so they know that I am present with them. Like now. I’m blogging on my iPhone cause I didn’t charge my laptop! But earlier today, after a morning power walk and breakfast I played football (badly) with the little one.

It’s not all pretty roses. Sometimes it’s exhausting and frustrating. And some days, when I have a work event or see my friends to just hang out I don’t see my kids. But I try to make it up. And that’s what you need to do.

I also have a great support network at home. Without the family support I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do…

So that’s it, in a nutshell. Create pockets of time that you can fill with productive activities. For those that don’t wake up early but sleep late, then just do those activities later. Reassess your schedule and find those hidden gems of time ‘wasted’ and make them productive.

And to quote Forest Gump. That’s all I have to say about that.

I LOVE WORDS… I love words because besides the obvious that you can use them to speak and converse… certain words have such profound meaning that when I use them I feel liberated…

So without further ado… here are 6 of my favorite words

6. Passion – because without passion about anything in life where would you be? How would you express? How would you FEEL about anything? Intense feelings… If anything I am passionate… heart on my sleeve…

5. Loyalty – It’s so ingrained in how I approach anything in life… If you’re not loyal to your routine, your work, your family, your friends, yourself… then what can you achieve? Without being consistent and reliable, trustworthy or dedicated, stable or dependable… for me, then nothing is possible…

4. Humble – maybe I’m a bit too humble but I find that being NORMAL and approachable makes you a much more welcome person in any circle… I can’t stand anyone with over self-confidence… those with huge egos, I find them repulsive… you can lead, you can inspire, you can teach and you can learn by being humble…

3. Adventurous – Willing to try something new… anything… food, sport, conversation, music, travel, life… it’s all an adventure… I won’t say risk taker… because putting your life on the line I find a bit selfish… but being adventurous, trying out new things that might be exciting, or different, even if it didn’t go as planned, or not what you expected, is an amazing learning experience…

2. Tenacity – and I don’t mean stubborn… but tenacity is about being determined, persistent and persevering… Not giving up… going after something and getting it done… when you put your mind to do something and getting it done… tenacity is a beautiful word…

1. Compassion – sympathetic, feeling, caring, sensitive… to yourself and those around you… While we can’t always be compassionate 24/7 and sometimes we have to show ‘tough love’ , we also can’t be insensitive to those around us and their needs… family, friends, colleagues, relatives, strangers…

And that wraps up some of my favorite words for the day… But just so we are clear… I also have a long list of curse words that I am equally passionate about, but we will leave that for another blog… 🙂


But first there’s always coffee… that one warm mug that I can count on every morning… to kick start my day…


I promised myself I would blog more often, and as soon as I make that promise, I go and break it again… so here we go… AGAIN! I promise to blog more often.

I thought I would share a few of the things I have been reflecting on the last few weeks… and what I would like to do more of now that I am approaching that awesome age of 45. I’m loving that number… cause in my weird way 4+5=9 which is my favorite number!

So what do I want to do more of? Here we go…

  1. Blog more often. If you take a look at my ramblings, you’ll see I will just write whatever comes to mind. And I truly believe that is a good thing. Just get it off your chest, whatever it is. You never know, you may actually inspire someone… or confirm their suspicions of you being totally off your rocker… Awesome. I like the quirky ones. I relate!
  2. Read. I miss reading. I have a bunch of books I have purchased in the last year that I have been wanting to read. But somehow Spider Solitaire or skipping stories on Instagram take up so much of my time that I don’t have time to read my books (eye rolls)… yes I need to put that phone down… and write… or read… or wait… my favorite book is on TV as a movie! I’ll be right back… How did I get distracted again! 🙂
  3. Organize my things! Especially my recent obsession of the last two years – MAKEUP! Love make-up. Love buying it. Love wearing it (on occasion). Love trying it out, testing new things. Maybe I should blog about all the makeup I have tried and give you an honest review of what I found… like Nars liquid lipstick feathers and Smashbox Always On Liquid lipsticks stay on forever and Huda Beauty products are really really really quite good and that I didn’t like Tarte’s eyeshadows but LOVED their charcoal make up exfoliating stick and I love Benefit products and Too Faced smells YUMMY? More on that later… New product range I’m testing out? Charlotte Tilbury…
  4. Revamp my bedroom. It needs work. A lot of work. Cause I have two bikes and tons of sports equipment and cycling and triathlon kits and running shoes and cycling shoes and wet suits and rollers and a ball and and and… I need to bring order and organization  to that space. Plus my room has perfect lighting for blogging, so I must add a writing corner in there… an Ikea visit is a must!
  5. Get back to triathlon training! I’ve been hibernating since IronMan. But with a purpose. Been trying to lose weight and I have been successful in shedding 7 kilograms! Just need another 3kg and I will be a happy camper!
  6. Soul Cleansing. Getting closer to God again is always important. Not that I have ever dropped Him from my meditations but getting back to prayers is always a good thing for the soul. Whatever you need to do to bring enlightenment to your soul, do it!
  7. Cheesecake. Gotta have some on my birthday. T minus 20 days and counting.



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