Ridwan's Rough Notes

Macro Thoughts & Meditations on Intentional Living

Today is my 39th birthday, and I feel mixed emotions about it. Looking back on the past year of my life, I see good and bad times. The most significant moment was becoming a father on September 1st, 2023. Since then, my life has taken on a new meaning and purpose. I'm approaching a significant milestone in life as I will soon turn 40 years old. It's an important year, and I'm reflecting on everything I've experienced. I have lived a relatively carefree and pampered life. When I realise the finitude of life, I intend to pursue growth and excellence and be the father my little boy will be proud of.

May Allah, the Almighty, give me the strength and wisdom to navigate the remainder of my time devoted to family, learning, and excellence in worldly affairs. And make that the pathway to leave a legacy and prepare for my journey beyond time. Ameen.

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It was 1994, and I was nine years old in Abu Dhabi. I vividly remember dancing to Hawa Hawa track at our school event.

I have thought about this track randomly at various points in my life. I'm pleasantly surprised the YouTube algorithm has suggested this classic in my recommended videos list.

Here's for your viewing pleasure:

Hawa Hawa in the 90s

This track is the one I danced to.

The Original from the 80s

After two decades, I learned that the original was composed and performed by Pakistani pop singer Hassan Jahangir. I was surprised but felt good that music has no borders.

The Recent from 2018

Here's the Legend himself performing for Coke Studio Pakistan.

Music has no borders!

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I'm thinking deeply about journaling and how to better use apps like Day One and Standard Notes.

I have been using Standard Notes for nearly two years now. It has been my go-to note-taking app. I have tried many, but I always go back to Standard Notes.

Day One is a great app designed for journaling. But I'm still sceptical about privacy because of who owns the app, i.e. Automattic. I want to give Day One another go inspired by Daniel Pink's Pinkcast episode on writing down one noteworthy thing at the end of the day. Also, a similar exercise is called Homework for Life by Matthew Dicks.

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This is my new favourite song on repeat. Madan Karky has done an excellent job bringing in Mani Ratnam's filmography in the lyrics. Soulful melody by Hesham Abdul Wahab. Love It!

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It has been a long time since I have published here. I have no explanation. I have procrastinated and waited for the perfect time to draft and publish a post. The time has come now for it.

The intention is simple: To publish 100 posts by the end of 2023.

I was thinking of sharing one thing that moved me with my commentary. It is a great way to remember the one thing I learned from the day and reflect on why it resonated with me.

At the moment, I have started a collection of draft posts that I want to expand. It will be an excellent way to keep track of post ideas and create a queue of posts for publishing.

I look forward to this journey and hope to see you along.

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Apart from being an incredible actor, I found that Margot is a voracious reader.

The books recommended may not be my cup of tea, but it is always fascinating to peek into other readers' bookshelves.

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“If we expect to be leaders, we must see that thankless service comes with the job. We must do what leaders do because it’s what leaders do—not for the credit, not for the thanks, not for the recognition. It’s our duty.” — The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman

Leadership roles are indeed thankless jobs. However, great leaders are the ones to take up leadership roles to serve others and for the greater good. And true leader dares to act on their values and principles even when it might not be a popular move.

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I have seen “Word of the Year” pop up on the Internet. It is a neat idea to bring some focus and clarity during the year's decision-making processes.

Based on my 2 Values, I have chosen Good Enough as my word of the year.

I tend to obsess over getting everything right when just “good enough” is acceptable to complete that thing. Using my values and the chosen word(s) of the year, I intend to let go of perfectionism and embrace the philosophy of “good enough”.

If you want to explore and choose yours, check out Strategic Edge's blog post.

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Values. They affect every part of our lives.

I stumbled upon a blog post by Critter based on Brené Brown's Values exercise.

Brené recommends choosing two values from a list of many. It was easy to whittle it down to 4, but choosing 2 took some time.

The Final Four values were:

  • Discipline
  • Freedom
  • Growth
  • Joy

These four were interlinked.

Without discipline, there's no freedom, growth & joy.

Without joy, what's the point of having freedom and discipline?

To grow, you will need to enjoy the discipline and the freedom that comes with it.

To have freedom of time and money, you need discipline, a growth opportunity and enjoy the freedom that comes with it.

So, my Final Four values were interlinked.

After some thought, I have chosen DISCIPLINE & FREEDOM.

I intend to use my chosen values to guide decision-making and navigate the new year 2023.

Give it a go. If you did, do let me know what your chosen values are.

Ridwan Always happy to Discuss... or Reply via email

May God Almighty bring you and your family an abundance of joy, prosperity and goodness to live the good life in this world and the Hereafter.

Happy New Year 2023.

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