It’s done. Finally published my very first book. It has taken me almost a year of thinking, writing, editing, formatting, whilst drinking far too much coffee, to it finally being available on iBooks, Amazon Kindle and even paperback.
Being a writer in any sense was never a goal of mine. I mean, I survived my whole university life with a single biro pen. It appeared though there was something inside me. Over time I slowly learnt that dumping my thoughts on paper was actually therapeutic. During a recent clean out I found some old diaries and journals from my teens, where I jotted down notes, mostly about the fantasy world I had created in my head. Extremely amateur in style yet endearing. It was exactly a decade ago I first dabbled with writing via my own entertainment blog online, with the sole intention of sharing my favourite movies, music and comics. It didn’t last more than year, but reading back on those posts made me chuckle. It’s still available here if you are curious. Thinking back on it, it was apparent that these writing phases were about sharing a passion as opposed to a “thing” and that’s why I enjoyed it. Having passion is all well and good, but there was no real purpose to what or why I was writing. It no wonder then why it subsequently stopped. It could be argued that life happened; marriage, fatherhood, career, usual ups and downs of life, etc. But no different to what life is like now. If anything life is even crazier now. Fast forwarding to now, I’m proud to say I’ve been consistently writing and maintaining a blog for almost three years. I have had some amazing feedback on the content, which touched me immensely. Although this blog started off as therapy and self reflective, whilst I was looking to find a way to put food on the table, it wasn’t long till I wrote with a purpose. The overarching theme was to give without intention. I got this sage advice from a friend who reached out after reading one of my posts. With this mantra cemented in my mind, I started to work on what I could give. After continual brainstorming, brain dumping and soul searching this enabled me to realise three core principles.
The fact that I believe I have value to offer. With a professional working life that has been extremely varied but also successful, considering the type of person I am, an introvert. Sharing my journey, approach, methods, tactics, thought processes; if one person finds just a small, tiny facet useful, then it deserves to be shared. On a personal level, I have been very fortunate to have been exposed to a multitude of cultures, personalities, that as an introvert could be just unthinkable. Yet with a principle of building a bridge to connect, is the fundamental foundation of peace and love.
Growing up and living as a second generation Asian in the UK certainly is an experience. For role models, I had my father, a man, an entrepreneur who like many first generation immigrants worked hard with so much ingenuity, all to provide a better life for their kids and support back home. Older brothers further cemented that ethos as gentlemen. A mother who showed me what real strength and humility is, even as a widow proving to the world, anything is achievable regardless of gender. We had our Bollywood hero’s like Amitabh Bachchan who filled our hearts with emotion and thrills. However, stepping outside that inner circle, when it came to an aspirational professional life, we had Dave, Mark or any other generic English guy. Nothing wrong in that at all, yet I always wondered why there was no one who looked like me. Now we live in a more diverse time and environment. If there’s one kid, introvert or not, who can be inspired, who can see that a guy who has a similar name and skin colour to achieving success? Now that’s really worth doing.
One boss of mine, many years ago told me a line I have never forgotten. She said, “Ali, only you can take control of your destiny”. Simple as it was, as most of things in life are, was a turning point in my head. Made me constantly ask the questions; What is my destiny? What actions am I performing to attune myself to my destiny? How can I forge the invisible opportunities in achieving my destiny? Being an introvert and not being able to just “get out there”, it is critical that line she told me needs to be realised.
Building Your Bridge
This core consequently gave birth to my book: Building Your Bridge: An Introvert’s Art of Success. Aimed at professional introverts who perhaps are at the start of their career or business, or those who may be stuck and unsure of how to progress. I poured my heart into sharing my personal journey with the sole intention to help with the above principles in mind. A friend to guide to realising that as an introvert, you already possess the skills and traits to be successful. Success. You may even ask the question what is success. A dear friend and I had a conversation recently about this topic. I was being my usual introvert nervous, doubtful self in even putting this book out there, and even questioning this whole concept, book down to its title. She very calmly said, “Success is the comparison of yourself from then to what you are now and the future. Nobody else, but you”. I’m confident that this book will help achieve that success. Thanks for reading, and I invite you to read my book. Peace and Love.