Channel: Zohra Sarwari
In this podcast Mifrah and Maheen catch up with Sr. Zohra Sarwari and talk about all things leadership, vision, talents and goals.
Muslim Life Hackers Interview
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Episode Six. Welcome to the Muslim life hackers podcast, the weekly podcast providing you with tips and tricks on how to hack your life and maximize its potential. And now for your hosts Mithra maroof and Mahima Lake
as we said, the cross a sea of that so much Assalamu alaikum Muslim life hackers, this is me from America and in today's episode mahina and I interview our first guest on the podcast, sister Zahara sawari. And talk about all things leadership, vision, talents and goals. For those who don't know sulfurous or worry, she's an international speaker, author and life coach living in Indiana, USA. All the links and resources mentioned in this episode will be found in the show notes. You can find them at Muslim life hackers.com slash six. That's number six. Without further ado, let's start the interview.
alaikum everyone it's me Malika with me for my roof sound like everyone. So we're here at the being me women's conference in Sydney. Really excited. We've got Zora so are you with us sound like him? So her lakemaster llamada de la Vega was super excited to have you with us kidnapped her put it to the side. So it's like bombarded with questions. Okay, so let's start with that this question that we had, were actually wondering about talents, right? People actually asked us like, how, how exactly do I find out my talents? Because there's a lot of like, emphasis on you know, do what you love. But then how do we know what we love?
Yeah, what what are we good at? Okay, this is a beautiful question. And I have to tell you guys that the first book I wrote is based on this question. Yeah. So what happened was when I was teaching it, because I coach, a life coach, and when I was coaching people, this is exactly what people come back and say, what's my strength? What's my weakness? I don't know. And so the book nine steps to achieve your destiny starts with that. What's the first step, the second, the third? By the ninth step, you've discovered yourself, inshallah. So it's really important, I can't see in one thing that you can figure it out. But obviously, when you figured out your strengths, you have to go through
several steps to kind of find out who you are, and what you love. And by going through that process, then by the end, you're like, Okay, this is me. You can identify with something and then you take that and Sharma and you focus on that, and you heighten it to make it the best. Let's just say you're an extrovert, Mashallah, you're amazing with money? And with finances, and you think, yes, absolutely. And you're doing excellent with us. Now, what can you do with that? So you've got a degree in finances, and you feel really good, you know how to budget and money. And then you're also an extrovert, you can easily talk to people, what can you do, you can definitely speak about this
stuff, you can teach others how to do it, you can become a coach from it, you can write a book, and I mean, go out there and be able to explain it to people. So there's different things that each one of us have different talents, and it doesn't have to be one or the other. But you basically find your strengths inshallah. Yeah, I mean, like, as you were speaking about the topic of money, I mean, like, these days, not a lot of people know how to manage their money. She was speaking about this the other day, how I'm such a bad saver. Yeah. And and, you know, that's, that's actually so true. Because the people who do know, it's important that, you know, they can get up there and teach
people, I guess they're really undervalued their knowledge that they have. Yeah, it's one of the biggest issues that we have in the Muslim community. And I've noticed that worldwide, traveling a lot of ways martial is that we don't have enough confidence. We don't have enough self esteem, to think that Allah has given us this talent, and that we have an authority to go out and share it like not being egotistical and not being arrogant, but being out there helping our sisters and brothers. So if you've achieved something, and you know that other people can benefit from it, this is a big, important thing to do. And that could be someone, let's say they lost 50 pounds, they figured out
how to lose weight, they can definitely go out there and help so many people achieve this. Marshall, I guess this ties into why it's important to leave a legacy. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's a board because obviously, at the end of the day, you come back, it's everything we're doing. We're doing it for the sake of Allah somehow, what do you want to go to, you know, when you see advisors, or what do you want to go to? And we know that when we die, only three things benefit us, right? Yeah, children who make dua for us any kind of knowledge that we've left behind, and any kind of surgery. So if this is the case, where is your legacy going to be? If you're six feet under which we're all
going to go? What are you going to be getting the good deeds from? Yeah, let's say some of you don't get married, and you'd have kids. I mean, like, nobody knows what happens, or you die before you have children. What will you be doing to get your goodies from where will they be coming from Mr. Pamela? Like, you know, with my kids, it's funny that they were talking about this, and my son was like, Mom, if I were to die right now, I mean, what would my sister Johnny be? And I looked at him, and he's literally he's 10. And I looked at my bucket, I said, Marsha, you've written three books. You've got videos out that you've done lectures, I said, that'll be part of this other kajaani
Sharla get excited, because like it starts off small, but I'm saying you have to think what is my legacy going to be? So it doesn't matter what your I mean, you can get awesome.
Chef, cook, write a cookbook that's going to continue benefiting people, and you will get the good deeds. So the takeaway from here is that you don't wait, don't delay. You never know when your time is up kind of thing. Absolutely, absolutely. Act now, act immediately. You know, don't walk by opportunities, thinking tomorrow, tomorrow. No, you don't know you'll be if you'll be here tomorrow. Yeah, that's so true. Because, um, you know how you were saying about, like, if you know, something, and it's the lack of confidence just reminds me of something that I was reading online. And one of the blogger, he was saying that you don't have to be an expert. It's just, you know, more than the
person you're teaching? Absolutely. I mean, if I can help them, and if you can help them, that's it. I mean, you know, let's just say, suppose that you gave somebody confidence and knowledge and you helped them in one area. And they took that to a whole nother level, and you're still getting the good deeds from it. Mashallah. And let's say they wrote a book based on you inspiring and motivating. And you get the good deeds from that book. So Pamela, maybe some excellent points. So another question that we really want to know is, what's the most important thing that you've learned about leadership? I know it's generic, generic, but everyone has a different take. Yeah, and
especially good to benefit from each person's insight. I think the most important thing I've personally learned about leadership, and this is going through the life of the Prophet sallallahu wasallam. And the Sahaba de la Han, the great moms and anyone who's righteous my brother, by the way, his characters everything, if you have characters upon Allah, doesn't matter which position you get into inshallah, you'll do well, if you don't have character, if you're lying, if you're stealing, if you're cheating, changing, we all have that ability to change, that the love of forgiveness as to help you start changing because characters everything, you know, how you assign
how you like, travel everywhere, and you actually meet a lot of Muslims and stuff, like what particular characteristics when it comes to character Have you seen that we can actually work on as a Muslim woman, I mean, I would start with the most important one, which is honesty. And we lacked that big time. I mean, a sister comes by and says, hey, you're just so pretty, and she doesn't mean that at all. It's insincerity. And it's a lie. Like, I don't mean it. Don't say anything. Just ask Michael, how are you? But we're in that lifestyle of like, everyone just thinks they have to say something, and ask to be something nice just so that they can be liked. But they don't mean and
they're not sincere. Yeah, they're dishonest. And Allah knows it. And it's so easy for us to slip into this like white lie habits. Absolutely. And there's no such thing as a white lies there. Of course, all of them are the
lie, the lie
that you told us about how it's important to leave a legacy. And how like is one of the key qualities of a leader. So everyone knows a bit more about you. So tell us about a key milestone in your journey of leadership, because you're an inspiration to many, many, many people I hate handle, I would think, you know, one thing that's how I feel like I'm very, very not proud of the very happy with is a step I took about six and a half years ago, I decided that I was going to homeschool my children six years ago, I made this move and I had no knowledge of it. I had no support. I had no people that had done it. But I knew what I wanted and I have goals for my kids. Six and a half years
later, we're going to fast forward and show off our first child. You know, my goal was for her to graduate at 14, to be able to write books, to be able to be an international speaker, to be able to have videos to be able to be in college and memorize a clock. Well, six and a half years later, Marsha she's 13 She graduated high school she's in college, she's in the his program, Mashallah that she's written six books. And
you know, she's speaking all over the place. Mashallah. So, I feel like, I started a journey and I begged the Lord for help. And I said, Yeah, Toby, I want them to be able to serve you in this moment. I want them to become righteous and, and without having the knowledge. We're just talking about not having the knowledge of how to homeschool. I took steps and I figured it out and I kept searching and researching six and a half years later, the results are in Well, I feel great, but all praises to Latin hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen is just to tell everyone else that there is put your Nia in it be sincere be honest, yeah. Do for the sake of a lot and you will not believe what the
results conditional. So like, you know, throughout your journey, like I know that when when whenever we want to aim for big things and stuff, Allah subhanaw taala always like tests us right? So how did you actually keep motivated and like, say you came came to a point where like, I don't know about this whole homeschooling thing. I'm just gonna put it back in school kind of thing. How did you fight that resistance? You know, I did, I would when I would get very frustrated with her or get upset. I'd say I'm just very Erectus school and you don't know Mama, no, no, don't send me to the toilet.
Winter school. So she knew what stopped me was the fact that I had already and this is so important for everyone to hear is that I already told people that I'm homeschooling. These are my goals. I put it out in the world. So I can go back now. Right? Because I made sure I made sure everyone heard it. And it held me accountable and responsible not to go back. Because now I've told everyone I feel like
yeah, I guess like me saying I'm going to lose 50 pounds and I don't lose it. No, if I someone lose weight, so I'm gonna lose my weight. And so it's so important that when you get the word out, then people have an expectation from you, you know, and so it can
pushes you and motivates you not to give up. There are days where I was just like, a little annoyed. But then I knew that all I needed to do was take some stuff off my plate, relax for a day, chill and think of and I would constant when I would come across a problem, I would be looking to how to solve my problem, I wouldn't be looking how to quit from my father, how to solve my mom. So this is kind of like a meme. It was being met with the other day about having the right kind of mentality, or the two different. He was about something about having a growth mindset. And having a mindset that's that's stagnant, like, you know that oh, this is my situation. I don't want to change. I can't
change. Yeah, but that's, that would tie back into self esteem, self confidence. Yeah. If you don't have the confidence and you don't have self esteem that, you know, you're not going to move anywhere, you're going to think I can't do it, I can't do it, I can't do it. And if you have that mentality, then you got two things you must do. One is get out of that environment trend. Go with positive people, people who are doing things for making things happen, and hang around them and see them and just being non violent. You slowly start to crawl out of yours, because you're in it. And under influence. Absolutely. The influence is amazing. And number two, stop hanging around negative
people Harriet, because if your sister says I can do it, and then you read this is I can't do it. And then you'd ask if I can do and then you cousins, I mean, he's not gonna do it.
But if someone says Mashallah, you can do it, and you're gonna do it, and this is how you do it. And then you need that you need a positive influence to help you move to the next doctor, Shola. You need someone to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself just yet. Yeah, yeah, true. Um, you see how you are telling in your homeschooling journey when when things things were getting, like tiring instead of quitting altogether? You actually took a day off and stuff that's actually quite interesting. Because like, sometimes whenever we get sick or something, we might blame the whole entire goal. Or maybe it's just we just need a rest. Yeah, no, it's the same thing. Have you think
about dieting? Okay. Yeah, the average sister out there. I'm sure everyone's dieting all the time. Yeah, they think about diet. I'm just noting bouncers.
take a day off, work out five to six days a week, eat healthy by the seventh day, take it off and enjoy yourself. I mean, don't go crazy. Don't eat five servings. But take a day off and just say this is my day off. It's okay. I'm not gonna exercise. I'm gonna eat what I want without being so thin. And then when you rejuvenate, you rejuvenate yourself. You come back Monday, you're excited to come back.
It's really a break in the absence makes the heart grow fonder. Yeah. I mean, and if you think about it for us, sisters, Allah how we don't see it as a blessing. But when we can't pray for several days of the month, it is a blessing because we were so excited to come back on that journey.
You ready to pray again and give you a full and you'd like you miss it. And Allah knows and he can see him and I think that alone is so amazing to me. Like, like, you get a break. But in one sense, you don't want it because it's like, oh, I could fast again, I can pray again. I can do this. Wow, that's such a different way to look at it. I guess that kind of also ties into a motivation as well. So how is it that you keep yourself motivated through all of your projects, homeschooling your books, your courses? me talking about?
Like I know that you mentioned mentioned about being around positive people and stuff, but like do you have like mentors or something that you'd or people do what you do similar to keep you motivated? Honestly, I don't know. In the past, I've had coaches that I've dealt with there were non Muslim, the majority of them, but to be honest with you, in the last like less than five years past I really haven't. What really inspires and motivates me is a Les Paul.
My relationship with him, me answering to him on the Day of Judgment. And then the suit of the purpose of Alanna song, the habit of 11. Going, constantly remembering them, their stories, and what they've done, and to sit there and look at how blessed we are, where we're living and how many resources we have and to do nothing is a shame to me. It's a shame to me. So I'm motivated because I want to be able to stand in front of the Muslims on the day didn't forget, I'm gay did my best. I'm not perfect. I've made so many mistakes, and every day continue, but I tried my best for you. And I woke up every day. And I pushed myself out of that bed and I said no, shall I'm going to do this for
my Lord. So it's not about the recognition from people or anyone else. But it's that recognition from Allah subhanaw taala that I seek it, you know, because at the end of the day, you're totally like, you know, if I want to see his beautiful face, inshallah and Jenna when they get there, it's like, I want to see that I want to feel like, you know what I was at seventh, I tried my best. I wasn't the best, but I tried my best. And I think at the end, that's what and the last month Allah says he loves those who do the little things, but do it consistently. Yeah. So, you know, if I exercise I only do 30 minutes a day. If I study I only take like three or four classes a semester.
So you do the little things how much you can handle fantastic points that you've given us or so you can find a link to source book nine steps to achieve your destiny on our next Yep. And also like any last words, I like to save a lot of money and be motivated, be strong. Hold on to whatever you're doing. And always just keep checking your intentions, making sure
For the sake of Allah subhanaw taala not, you know, being famous, being rich being the most intelligent just remembering why we're doing it. And sometimes Shakedown comes from different corners and tries to take us away from our real intention. So just keep reminding yourself that sincerity. And remember, always be honest. Thank you so much for that. Does that
Okay, that concludes today's episode of the Muslim life hackers podcast. As mentioned earlier, our show notes, which include the books that sisters offer mentioned can be found at Muslim life hackers.com slash six. That's the number six. While you're at it, let us know what you've learned from this interview. Also, from time to time, we'll be dedicating an entire show to questions asked by you. So if you have a question, then simply record a voicemail by going to Muslim life hackers.com slash ask. If your question is chosen, then it will be played and answered in our upcoming episodes. Until next time, aim high, take action and be awesome