Life – a labyrinth filled with obstacles, decisions, successes, and more, unique to each and every one of us. There is no life that is exactly like another, and that is what makes it so beautiful. But throughout all that we face, rarely do we take the time to appreciate the incredible blessing of life itself and all that it has to offer. I often tell clients – be they mentoring, EYSK Media, EYSK Childcare Centers, or EYSK Development clients:

We spend so much of our time and effort trying to make a living that we forget to live in the process.

This is a thought that came to mind as I was working towards my path of figuring out how I wanted to guide myself through my labyrinth. So many had told me that I should pursue things in ways similar to what they did, to follow societal norms, or to live up to expectations put upon me through my family. In an effort to find my path through being open to anything I felt comfortable with on a moral level, I was fortunate enough to realize that those paths weren’t what were meant for me.

I spent years working for different companies, making money and paying bills, but every day, I would wake up dreading the work day to come, and would come home exhausted and unsatisfied with what I had accomplished that day. Nothing was ever enough. The same was the case when it came to school. I would spend my days at school getting involved in multiple things and hardly making an effort to study because I had no interest in what I was learning. I was pursuing my degree because it was what was expected of me, and I was working solely to pay bills. My life was dry and boring.

Now, don’t get me wrong, some people love to work solely to pay bills, and love to go to school to learn their trades or skills, but it just wasn’t enough for me. To each their own, but personally, I needed a challenge and needed to be passionately invested in what I was pursuing. I realized that I wasn’t living life to the fullest (in my own prospective), and so, I needed to make a change.

Another thing that drove me to that change (which I’ll elaborate on in a minute) was the fact that I had lived my entire life according to what others thought I was capable of and based on the life they had envisioned for me. My every moment was focused around helping people through giving them what they wanted instead of helping them learn to acquire what they needed.

Ultimately, all of this came crashing down on me and I fell into a state of sadness and depression. I was never happy, was never satisfied or content, and always felt that I was only as skilled, talented, capable, etc. as what those around me said I was. It broke me, and landed me in the hospital a few times, before I finally decided it was time for me to take control of my life.

So, the drive to change kicked in. I struggled and battled myself to live for myself and what made me happy, but I knew it was something I needed to establish within myself in order to hold any possibility of happiness and freedom in my future. I began by looking at what I wanted my life to consist of. In my case, I want to be in incredible shape and health, I want to be able to help people through sharing my thoughts and experiences, I want to continue to mentor people, I want to run as many businesses as I could in as many fields as I could, I want to do Da’wah (spreading the message of Islam in a method based on wisdom, knowledge, action, and patience), and I want to live a particular standard of living that I always found fascinating (the details of which I’ll keep to myself).

Sounds like a lot, I’m sure, but this is just what I want for myself, and doesn’t even touch on the things I’d like to accomplish in relation to my interactions with others (like my parents, siblings, relatives, friends, my wife – when I find her, my future children, the needy, and pretty much just people in general). That is a whole different category to talk about in another article, but the focus right now is on myself, because as I often tell myself (as motivation):

You can’t help others be at their best if you’re not at your best.

I wanted to share this with all of you because it’s something that has completely changed my life. After determining what I wanted in life, I looked at the different components that made up my life and began to add and subtract things from it. So now, here’s how I’ve laid things out for myself:

Incredible shape & health

= Crossfit Training & Insanity (DVD Workout) along with other methods of training

Help people through sharing my thoughts and experiences & Continue to mentor people

EYSK Development Services [NadirKeval.com (Blog, Public Speaking, Seminars & Workshops, Mentoring Sessions)]

Run as many businesses as I can in as many fields as I can (that interest me)

EYSK Industries (EYSK Media, EYSK Childcare, EYSK Development Services)

Do Da’wah (lifelong journey which plays a part in my every day life, Alhamdulillah)

Candor Muslims (an organization I am working on establishing), Studying Islam, Learning more languages, etc.

Live a particular standard of living

Follow through on all of the above

Every single one of us will have our own path to pave in life, and this labyrinth we face is one that we must find our own way through. No person will be able to tell us our way because it’s unique to us and only our individual hearts and minds hold the map. Take this as a blessing and an opportunity to really figure out who you are, what you believe in, and what you hope to accomplish out of your life. Remember to live to leave a legacy. It doesn’t have to be big. Just strive impact the heart of at least one person in a positive way during your lifetime, but make sure that before you try to help others change their lives for the better that you have your life in order. Life will always be a state of chaos, but we can bring peace and order to it through learning how to face life with strength, patience, confidence, wisdom, and most importantly, faith. Live YOUR life.