Christmas brings with it the memories of the past. Some of happiness and some of sadness. Today I thought about how blessed I am being with my lovely family in France and how miserable I was feeling on Christmas just 7 years ago and even more lonely 12 years ago.

7 years ago I was in Dubai, recently relocated and feeling alone, having no friends and family.

And more so 12 years ago, while I had friends and family but deep inside I felt lonely just waiting to be with a man who could complete me, who could love me?

But it is only 3 years ago, before I met my husband I was totally at peace with being with myself.

I accepted my life fully infact being on my own became fun.

Most of the times we spend our times thinking about if’s…if our life was better, if we had more love, if we had more money, more friends so on and so forth, but the truth is that more we have ‘if conditions’ in life the more we are unhappy.

I only realized a few years ago when I stopped fighting against this moment and accepted life with just what I had. Life was not perfect but my perspective had changed. Life may not be perfect yet but I am at peace.

Life is in the now and here, complete and beautiful.

The if’s of your life maybe many. Sadly but true that the more if’s you have the more you will be unhappy, sad, depressed and frustrated in your life.

How was life a few years ago for you?

Are you at peace with being on your own now?

Share your stores now, tag me on Instagram with hashtag #growwithmaleeha, or reply to this blog.

How is Christmas for you this year?

And for me I was peace finally with or without a relationship, with or without a family, with or without friends.

And you see, here is my picture year 2015.

I was alone enjoying in Dubai mall and Burj Khalifa (the tallest tower of the world) and being on my own was an incredibly amazing experience!

So, with or without anyone ‘Merry Christmas’ to you 🎄🎅⛄

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Each one of us is unique and have different skills and a set of expertise. All you have to do is: know and understand yourself more to discover those.

Have you discovered what is the impact and difference you want to make to your life and also to the world? What motivates you? What you are hungry for?

When people feel like they have no sense of direction, no purpose in their life, it is because they don’t know what is important to them. They don’t know what their values are. And when you don’t know what your values are, then you’re taking on other people’s values and living other people’s priorities instead of your own.

And therefore you have unhealthy relationships, unsuccessful life, a sense of being incomplete, or having misery in your life.

Your purpose of life drives you, motivates you and encourages you to keep going every time you fail. It pushes you to your edges every time.

And why most people give up is because they do not have a big enough why?, a big enough purpose.

Discovering one’s “purpose” in life boils down to finding the things that are a desire of a larger part of you. It is not about some achievement, but merely spending your time doing that which you love to do.

To determine your purpose, ask yourself: What is your legacy going to be? What are the stories people will tell when you’re gone? How do you want people to remember you? How can you work towards that today?

Now think of the feeling: How do you feel? Do you feel at peace? Do you feel a sense of contentment? Does the result make you happy?

And again, it has to come from your heart’s desire. It cannot be something to impress people. You should have something you can enjoy fantasizing and dreaming about. You should have a clear enough ‘why?’ Know why did I set that end goal? Why is that end goal important to you?

Once you have solid answers to these questions, you will then be ready to articulate your purpose of life.

The purpose could be anything from fulfilling a personal passion project, to growing your business, to becoming an authority figure in your field, to extending your network or even telling a good story. Whatever it is, it has to be something beyond making money. If the primary motivator is to make money or something you want to do, that is not a purpose that is a short-term goal or list of to do’s. You need stronger motivators. Those weak motivators will not discipline and drive you will need.

Your purpose must be much larger enough to serve as your foundation.

So think about it – and let me know what it is your purpose?

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Are you happy?

I understand that this is the question many people answer differently.

This is the question I struggled with if you would have asked me a few years ago. Precisely because I had no time to be happy and enjoy life. I was so busy and stressed at things that were expected from me.

For some people happiness is a goal, they strive to be happy and yet fail.

For some people it is more a future thing- If i get promoted, If i am going on a vacation, if i get married and etc. The list can be endless but after you reach their then what, the moments of awe passes and we are again left with the mundane life with its challenges and demands of work life, family and society from us.

Not long ago I realized that happiness is not a goal. Happiness is a state of mind. A commitment you make with yourself that no matter what happens in my life I will not loose the state of being happy with myself. When you realize that the world outside is constantly changing and everyday has its own challenges but what matters is my own stability of my thoughts, emotions and my relationship with myself.

This was the time when I stopped struggling to be happy and rather be contented and happy for where ever I was as long as I had myself and I was at peace with myself.

My routines changed and my though patterns changed. I was no longer holding past regrets, regrets that I didn’t follow my heart, or regrets like spending too much time at work and not with myself and my loved ones.

Though some people wait until they are on their death beds to have this realization? I am indeed blessed. And you are blessed to have read this post.

You can start to take the steps that I took and be happy from now on –

Step 1: Go out for a walk – daily.
Step 2: Take some time out and contemplate your life.
Step 3: Practice Yoga once a week (I normally do that on a Saturday)
Step 4: Go out with your friends once a week (Read my note on friends)
Step 5: Watch a few Sitcoms and laugh
Step 6: Do something different: Attend a concert, learn a new language or register yourself for a dance class.
Step 7: Read a good book – (The most easiest way to learn)
Step 8: Enjoy the weather- Some people enjoy rain and some sunshine.
Step 9: Connect with nature- Smell the flowers and be present. (Go to my note of being present)
Step 10: Go to bed at a fixed time (regularly to have a good night’s sleep)

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Self-love is very important. If you have been following me for a while you probably know what I mean. Here are my 5 most amazing self-love habits that really changed my life. Small changes can have huge impacts on our lives without us realizing. Have a read, implement and see how that can change your life.

1-Honor Yourself
Tell yourself the truth about your body.
Do not compare yourself with anyone.
Honor yourself for who you are.
Keep reminding yourself that you are unique.
We compare ourselves with the models.
When we see a beautiful cover photo of a model on the front page or etc we start comparing ourselves with them.
These days we see perfectly edited photos on Instagram and
Ask yourself: How is your relationship with yourself? Do you accept yourself? Do you love yourself? Or do you keep trying one or the other formula to copy and become someone else?

2-Explore Yourself:
The most important relationship is with yourself.
Develop hobbies
Become your own hero, and start appreciating yourself for small achievements.
Make new hobbies: like dancing, singing, travelling, taking photos, reading etc.
Appreciate yourself when you learn to do something. A new skill or whatever you like doing.
You will see a certain sense of self worth when you can recognize the achievements. You will also value yourself and start to know your boundaries and limitations as well as strengths and weaknesses.

3-Surround Yourself With right People
A man is known by the company he keeps.
Remember people you are with can uplift you or upset you.
You have to be very carefully become friends. Choose them wisely and consciously.
When we are young we are not conscious enough and become friends with even those people who do not add value to us.
But as we grow their energy affects our moods and they have the power to make us happy or sad.
People who are judgmental, critical, or pessimist towards you should not stay in your friends zone.

4-Use Positive Affirmations with yourself
Do not beat yourself up for things you are not perfect at.
Repeat a few positive affirmations everyday to yourself.
Affirmations affect your day.
We all are good at a few things and not good at everything. Some people beat themselves up for expecting too much from themselves.
Be nice to yourself, treat yourself as you would treat your loved ones.
Instead of repeating yourself negative words to yourself use positive ones.

5-Take time out for yourself
Go out with your friends.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Pay attention to your body.
Smile. This is very important
Be grateful
Some people think that going out with friends, spending time with yourself or exploring ways to keep yourself fit by having a healthy diet or doing regular yoga etc is obsession. Interestingly even if you smile more often some people might never take you serious.
But let me tell you: This is completely false. The truth is all of this is very helpful. All you need to focus on is having balance in all these areas and do not go overboard.

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In this modern world where we meet so many people, get attracted by a few and for some we start pursuing a relationship. But it does not work no matter how much we try we are heart broken again and again. Let me share with you my 10 dating rules that will help you move your relationship forward definitely. Good Luck

Rule no 1:
Socialize – when someone offers you tea, coffee, lunch or dinner – Go for it ! But anything other than these – don’t be shy to say ‘no’. After you have accept the offer meet at a public place. Use your own transport and indeed do not accept the proposal of going to his/her house after you are finished.

Rule no 2:
Do not be physical in the first date- in the West it is common to hug and kiss on the cheek. But in the East it’s not – So try to stay away from holding hands, kissing etc.

Rule no 3:
Let the man pay the bill – Period-
If he asks you to pay the bill, it’s over – do not pursue a future with him.

Rule no 4:
Look for the signs –
Does he talk about his ex? Chances are he has still not forgotten her-
Does he share how his day went ? Or he talks about the latest porn movie and asks you what you like in bed ?
Look for alarming signs –
Men are simple and honest – they will give you signs on what they are looking for?

Rule no 5:
If he /she asks you about your ex boyfriend / or ex girlfriend-
Do not disclose details- Say something general ‘like any normal person I had my share of experiences with frogs’

Rule no 5:
Let him drive the conversation and silently observe. Woman easy, there is a long way to go. I know you are excited but relax and first see if he is what you are looking for.

Rule no 6:
If he tells you he can pick you up or drop you off- say ‘no’ immediately. Even if you are using a Public transport (which is very bad in Pakistan, I know ). Don’t be ashamed use it. Do not sit in his car and let him drive you atleast in the first few dates.

Rule no 7:
Never text him after the date is finished- like: I had a lovely time- when do we meet next? Or did you enjoy?
Breath let him come back to you.

Rule no 8:
You are not looking for marrying anyone nor are you looking for a boyfriend. Even if you are just date as a friend. Let him pursue you for a committed relationship. let him see you as a challenge and convince you- but never tell him you desperately want to get married.

Rule no 9:
Dress modestly. Keep the conversations general and get some standards: like after 10 pm I do not take calls. Men respect woman who have standards.

Rule no 10:
Never ever sleep with him before he is committed to you, the best is not before you 2 are married. Never ever and he will always respect with you for that.

Good luck with your dating life!

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