“What are your choices when someone puts a gun to your head?”
“What are you talking about? You do what they say or they shoot you.”
“Wrong. You take the gun, or you pull out a bigger one. Or, you call their bluff. Or, you do any one of 146 other things.”
When most of us witnessed this iconic exchange between Harvey Specter and Mike Ross, we would have identified with Mike’s sentiment of the black and white reality. However, public speaker and author Zeeshan Raza would have been more inclined to agree with Mr. Specter.
In sharing an idea from his writing that would encourage others to take control of their lives, he explained that we tend to analyze situations in bell graphs: we see the best and the worst case scenarios, forgetting about all of the possibilities in between the extremes.
“Whatever is presented to you is not the only option.”
Currently working as a public speaker, Mr. Raza has published one book and completed a second, yet to be published. Beginning just a few years ago, he has already established a presence within the field through his passion for writing and speaking. These talents make his previous occupation as a professional accountant all the more surprising.
So what changed? When health problems put his life on pause, Mr. Raza was unwilling to accept the diametric solution presented to him. He researched alternative medicine and sought help through naturopathy. But he didn’t end the research there; he also took the time to pursue avenues of personal development and self-help, motivating him to use his passion for writing to share his knowledge. However, unable to change the lives of others in random encounters, he decided to channel the experience into a book.
Facing a slow start at first, he began to up the marketing and interact with people through his public speaking. Responses began to pick up, and the feedback has been very good thus far. Crediting the support of his wife and family with a part of his success, he continues to reach out to others within the community.
“I had a notion that tapping into the masjid community as someone who is not a sheikh or scholar quoting Quran and hadith would be difficult, but the responses so far have been very good. Sometimes we set our own limitations in our thoughts before trying.”
The greatest challenge, as with promoting any alternative medication, is the sparse research available within the academic communities. Dispelling the initial skepticism proved difficult, but once this was achieved, the “words flowed through, and there were no major challenges.”
“Writing this book has changed my life because it brought me closer to the people around me. Now, it’s easier to connect and try to understand people instead of judge them. It teaches patience, and how to look at the situation from their shoes.”
With the hopes of being a positive motivation, Mr. Raza continues to speak and aims to reach more of the Muslim communities around us.
“Sometimes, we need to be opened up to other ideas and know that they are not destroying our own. Within the religion of Islam, good knowledge will always complement it.”
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