I was never a great student, the subjects I was studying didn’t really bring out the things I was naturally good at. I loved music, writing stories and making people laugh and I was awful with numbers, I still am. Therefore I resorted to memorization and praying the exam would look something like the assignments to pass.

Stress was second nature during high school but I remember my mother saying something that would always bring a sense of calm to me, “Khalid just do your best, that is all I will ever ask from you”. In a way those words took a lot of pressure off me when it came to passing or failing a class. At the same time it put a lot of pressure on me to do everything I could do make sure that “F” never showed up, and I’m relieved to say it never did.

Those words from my mother have pretty much shaped everything I do in life, from being a husband and father, to my work and education. I want to be a great dad, I want to be great at my work, I want to be a great influence on peoples lives, and do to that it’s going to take my best, otherwise what’s the point right?

Now I don’t know if I’ll make it or not, I don’t know if I’ll realize that greatness but one thing’s for sure I’m not going to have any regrets when I look back on the effort I made. That’s important to remember because a lot of us are focused on what we obtain from our efforts, how rich and famous we get, and judge our success on whether or not we obtain the riches and fame.

What my mother’s words have taught me is what’s truly important is not the things I obtain in life, but who I become. It’s not the destination that matters but the journey and how I’ve grown and impacted lives a long the way. That’s what brings me peace, because I’m focused on the present and who I am becoming today, rather than worrying about what might happen in the future.

Finally her words have given me courage, courage to know that if I take a risk on something that the failure will not be because I didn’t try. Most of the time if you are willing to put in the hard work things usually work out, maybe not the way you planned but something good has to come out of it.

So imagine whatever it is you’re scared of, or anything that is holding you back from doing something you want to do. Now imagine the greatest form of yourself, you are your very best, you then realize how strong you are and that any challenge you will face along the way might slow you down but it will never stop you.

Promise yourself that you will put your heart into anything it is you want to do in your life, that you will dedicate who you are today to what you want to become tomorrow, that you will hold nothing back, and then it is only a matter of time before you realize you are everything you wanted to become. Good luck and God bless.

This post is dedicated to my mother, thank you for always giving me your best.