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Role of Mindset in Overcoming Obstacles

April 25, 2024

I am honored to be interviewed by Jason Liem about my new book, the "Slingshot." Our discussion centers on the compelling theme of the book: taking the reins of your destiny and employing practical tools to surmount life’s challenges.

During our conversation, I have shared the concept of "Slingshot", shared my own life experiences and how the process of writing this book served as my therapeutic journey. An essential part of our discussion focuses on the critical role of mindset in overcoming obstacles. We talk about the importance of healing from past traumas, the necessity of continuous personal growth, and how physical cues can play a significant role in ensuring enduring change.

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Live Passionately,

Moustafa Hamwi

Passionpreneur & Chief Energy Officer

Award Winning Author & Speaker


Jason [00:00:00]:

Well, I'd like to welcome everyone back to it's an inside job. I'm your host, Jason Liem. I have a special treat. An author, quite a well known author, down in Australia from Melbourne. I'd like to welcome you to the show, Moustafa Humwi, or Moustafa.

Moustafa [00:00:13]:

Thank you, Jason, for having me. Really excited to be on the show.

Jason [00:00:16]:

I was wondering if we could kick off. Maybe you can introduce who you are and what you do.

Moustafa [00:00:21]:

My name is Moustafa, as you mentioned, and I'm an international best selling author, speaker and coach. And my topic of specialty is around passion and using people's mindset to master their destiny.

Jason [00:00:34]:

And lately, you've just released your latest book as of December 2023, literally weeks ago, called Slingshot, perhaps. I'm curious maybe why the term slingshot?

Moustafa [00:00:48]:

Yeah, beautiful question. And it was a last minute naming process. Funny, when I write books, people, I start with a name, but it's not usually the same name I end up publishing. The first one is a project name. But the analogy for this specific book, slingshot, came from my own journey of going through a struggle of trying to find answers for myself, going on my own personal growth journey, trying to find solutions. And at the beginning, I was in the coaching space. So I go to coaches, and all the coaches usually go is okay. It's about go, go, go mentality.

Moustafa [00:01:20]:

Forget about, you know, anything else. Forget emotions, feelings. I mean, they acknowledge a little bit, but it's about the go go. You can push through anything. But I couldn't deny what was happening in my life and all the challenges. So I'd go, and then something, like, something was pulling me back. Like I push, push, push, and then it's not a glass ceiling. I could break through a glass ceiling, but it was more of a, of an actual, like an invisible rubber band that's pulling me back.

Moustafa [00:01:44]:

And I'm like, you know what? I can't deny this. I'm going to have to go digging into the past. Then I went into the healing space, and the healing space is full of all of those kind of, let's dig deeper and deeper, and it's like peeling an onion or digging a hole. The deeper you dig, the deeper you go. And then you find another layer. Then you find another layer. And that was a never ending story because I feel more broken by the end of the. Whatever I'm doing.

Moustafa [00:02:06]:

And I come back for more. And the analogy here was suddenly dawned on me. There's an inherent challenge in the self help industry is that it's focused on either or is very bipolar. And I started thinking, how about if I actually willingly take a step back to deal with some of my past issues that are impacting my presentation and then release my past so I can accelerate into the future with the second part of the book, which is the mindset mastery. And that's the slingshot analogy. It's about taking a step back, dealing with your past, but then letting go of it so you can accelerate into the future.

Jason [00:02:39]:

I had the privilege of reading parts of the book, and, you know, we're not talking just sort of business setbacks, we're talking some heavy setbacks. Such as, you know, you wrote about moving from Dubai to Melbourne. I think it was pre COVID. And then you lost your father due to COVID complications, as such. And then you had some. There were some troubles with your mom. She went through several medical interventions or, I think strokes or something. I can't remember exactly what it was.

Jason [00:03:01]:

And then, obviously, as moving to Melbourne, not knowing anyone, then lockdowns, hits. And as I read, Melbourne was pretty hard hit when it came to lockdowns, you know, there was the loneliness and the isolation and I guess everything else that most of us felt. But this was kind of intense. So these things you're talking about are not just sort of business setbacks, as important as those are things, but these are heavy elements that would affect anybody's resilience, you know? And obviously, this, to some extent, it was a wake up call. And slingshot was, I guess, your answer to that. Maybe not answer, but it was your cathartic release towards all the heaviness that was in your life at that point.

Moustafa [00:03:38]:

Yeah, thank you for bringing all of that. And, yeah, you're on the point here. The reality is, a lot of the material that I used in Slingshot were research over years and years, and a lot of them were part of my research for my very first book. So Slingshot is my third book. My very first book, live passionately. A lot of the tools that I came up with were I started discovering, when I'm helping people go through passion discovery processes, there was a bit of a blockage because there was one of two challenges. They either couldn't move forward because there was a lot of mental blockage against certain passions. And I've had those experiences, and we'll talk.

Moustafa [00:04:15]:

We can talk about that a bit later on the show. And it's either stuck in the past, or once they discover their passion, fear kicks in and other challenges kicks in and they can't go. So the pieces of healing the past and mastering the mindset were there. And once I've had that, I thought, okay, I'm going to write this independent books about them. And then I fell into imposter syndrome myself. I'm like, well, who am I? You know, who am I to actually do this? And what am I doing? One book was already a lot of a big thing for me to achieve. And then I moved into Melbourne out of a divorce. So I had a.

Moustafa [00:04:45]:

Unless divorces go, they're rarely ever nice. So it was a rough year of separation into a divorce and looking for a fresh start, I just get on a plane and arrive to Melbourne. And I landed here the 20 March 2020. So everybody remembers that beautiful months in the history of humanity, because this is when the pandemic really became a pandemic everywhere. Early Jamfeb was still some countries by Marsh. It hit everywhere. And two days later, I landed in Melbourne and the prime minister was on tv announcing at a full lockdown across the whole country. And I ended up coming out of a divorce into a new country, locked down by myself, no friends, no family.

Moustafa [00:05:21]:

And because of the social distancing and all the lockdowns, I couldn't connect with anybody. And Melbourne, yes, had one of the toughest lockdowns, I think, in the first year alone, separate from second year, out of 380 days, we were locked down for about 275 days or something. So you can imagine only small patches of barely some time to go out. So that was getting heavy on me. And on top of that, my father catches COVID when he was in Dubai. By the time I got exemption to leave Australia, I arrived there, he was in a coma, and I haven't seen him. So I miss seeing my dad for a few years and imagine the guilt that comes from that. Then I fly back to Australia, and a few months later, my.

Moustafa [00:05:57]:

My mom ends up getting a brain stroke. And at that time, I couldn't fly out because of my visa restriction or I'd lose my residency here. So there's a lot of pressure coming on me, and I really hit rock bottom. I think this was one of the toughest times of my life, where I started doubting myself and everything I teach and everything I'm doing. I'm like, if I can help myself, what am I good in helping other people? And this. This voice in my head started going, practice what you preach. Practice what you preach. And then I remembered I've got this material that was the basis of slingshot.

Moustafa [00:06:27]:

So I pulled all of those things, reworked them, refresh them, and reorganize them in such a way where that was that penny drop for me of the self help industry challenge and put all of those together into the actual sequence that became slingshot. So that's the reality of when it was started to pull it together. And yes, that helped me get out of it. And also, there's an important factor here that that is not a one time thing. There's a lot of people out there in the self help industry try to promise everlasting transformation. There's nothing called everlasting transformation. It's just a process that I used once and I keep needing to use regularly for maintenance.

Jason [00:07:03]:

I'd like to get into the process, but what I'd like to ask a lot of authors in writing the book, because obviously you have to take, you know, your past experience, your emotion, unfortunately, with the thing that went through your dad, your mom, being isolated and all that we've spoken about in the process, when I talk to authors, they have to translate obviously abstract thoughts and emotions into words. And it is a very cathartic process for a lot of them. A lot of these things that have lined dormant for a while to, and they come to the forefront of the mind. What did you learn about yourself, Moustafa, writing this book, Slingshot? Yeah.

Moustafa [00:07:34]:

Beautiful question and I want to add something here that will bring context to my answer. On top of me being a multi time bestselling author, I'm actually a publisher. So I've actually established and founded a company called Passionpreneur Publishing. To date of this interview, I've helped about 130 plus authors from 32 nationalities write and publish their books. So, and I'm very process oriented. So I believe people think creativity and writing is generally creative process. For me, nonfiction is not a creative process. Actually, an architectural process, which has a lot of engineering, has a lot of systems and processes like you do with a painting.

Moustafa [00:08:11]:

You need a frame for the painting, otherwise you're just scattered all over the place. So the process of writing a book for me has two elements of it. One element is definitely the cathartic element, which is you're just letting go and opening up. However, what I've learned from my books and from publishing other people's books, and that's really my specialty, is books that are just there to inspire are not enough. Because in today's world, with the multimedia, with podcasts, with things like that, today, this interview is probably going to inspire people. And you've got this amazing show. You're having even more amazing guests than me regularly. So you are inspiring people all the time.

Moustafa [00:08:49]:

But our role as coaches and people who are in the thought leadership space is to inspire, inform, and instruct. So I like to also think, aside from the inspiration, which is only my story, and that is only one chapter in the book, the second chapter that I get into is what I call a big picture chapter, where I give a 30,000 foot view of a methodology or a concept, and that process is not really catharsis at all, because that is me thinking if I'm in a room with somebody, I'm doing one to one coaching with them. And that's where I tap into all my resources of coaching, speaking, therapy, healing. I've got all these modalities and things that I've worked with, and how can I use those tools without me being in front of that person if they're going to grab the book and go through it one by one by one? So that's actually very mentally draining for me to do that process. But it's very meditative because it forces me to really focus and put myself away from everything, to produce that content. So it does serve me from a healing space. However, I'm not typically the person who believes writing is just about, you know, putting out everything from my head onto paper because that becomes too much people for digest and benefit from.

Jason [00:10:01]:

Okay. I mean, that was very well articulated. But helping other people, you take that objective step and you can see their subjective story, what they're trying to inspire and inform and instruct and such. When it comes to your books. Slingshot. As you said, self help books can be very black and white, night and day. What separates your book from other self help books? I think you kind of spoke a little to that, to the slingshot, but maybe you can elaborate to the extent you would like to.

Moustafa [00:10:29]:

Yeah, thank you. I'll say my book was born from my own struggle also. So there's multiple elements that make my books unique, at least from my perspective. And my coaches and people that work with me is because of my own struggles of going on an unfortunate journey. And we all know this industry is full of a lot of people like this. This is not to say it's all, but there's a decent chunk of people who are there that I call in my own term funnel marketers, people who have mastered the game of just putting a lead magnet with a funnel, with a funnel flow, and they can upsell you, cross sell you down solo, jv sell you. And unfortunately, in that space, there's a saying I always say, and I know I'll be hated for that. But the only one that makes money in a gold rush is a shovel company.

Moustafa [00:11:12]:

And unfortunately there's a lot, not everyone, but there's a lot of in the people that are at the forefront who have mastered the social media and digital game that are just shovel companies. They're not offering real gold. The teaching game has shifted from being about teaching into being, how can I gain more of the other side of the game? We need both in any business. But it should never shift away from the primary purpose, which is helping people. I've personally struggled from that early on in my career, and before I got on the career, I was on my own search and it was painful to spend time and money. So the first primary purpose for me, anytime I'm producing and offering a workshop or a talk or a book, is measurable results. Can I give a clear, valuable, measurable result that I stand by, I put my money where my mouth is, I can guarantee the results based on a system and a process. So the second thing is for me to be able to put that measurable result and say, okay, you're going to start here, you're going to baseline yourself.

Moustafa [00:12:09]:

Two, you're going to have a clear process which you can run through systematically without me even needing to be there. And then by the end of it, you can measure again and see if you got that value and results. So then there's results and there's measurable results. A lot of them are immediate, so you'll feel the value yourself. And there is the process orientation there. So I'm very structured and systematic. So it's not theory. The challenge with theory books, I'm not taking away any of the value they offer.

Moustafa [00:12:37]:

However we read them, we feel more intelligent, we feel elated, but no change happens on the ground. The change happens in the theory, in our head. And that's why I like to be very systematic and methodical in what I offer. So I'd say anything I do not only my book, my coaching, my workshops, my online programs, they all follow the same approach.

Jason [00:12:57]:

I think that's very important. When you read a book, it's good to be informed, but it's also good to be able to operationalize where it's pragmatic and practical. And if there are measurable results, of course that's an amazing thing, such as lifting weights or learning martial arts or language, you can see progress. And so you have a number of concepts. One is overcoming path limitations and mastery of the mindset. Perhaps we could start with maybe overcoming past limitations and maybe you could speak a little to that. And what do you mean?

Moustafa [00:13:28]:

Beautiful? So the first step in the journey of this process is actually healing your past. And the second step in the journey is mastering your mindset. And I do them in that sequence specifically because that was the way I've experienced. This, is you can try to go as far as you want into the future if you've got that invisible elastic band that's tying you to past trauma, for the lack of a better word. I'm not a doctor. I'm just, you know, medical terms. Not a medical term, but it is a traumatizing experience.

Jason [00:13:57]:

If you've.

Moustafa [00:13:57]:

If you have those and they're in your subconscious, you're never going to be able to accelerate into the future. So we start by healing the past and then mindset mastery. And the easiest premise I can give slowly and we can dive deeper. First step I will give you in the healing your past, all it is, it's about rewriting your story. So the first thing I get people to do, and I urge people who are listening to this, maybe pause the episode and start responding to what I'm saying is, start by writing your story. Start by asking yourself, what is my story? Is my story. I am like this because my parents were XYZ, my family, my community, my nationality, my English, wherever I'm living, my social conditioning, my money situation. We all have those stories that we've lived all our life thinking and believing that they have defined who we are.

Moustafa [00:14:54]:

And for a period, they might have been. But there's a point where we have to let go of that, so we can accelerate into the future. So the biggest part of the healing is rewriting a story. So we start with, you write your story, then I run you through certain exercises, and then by the end of it, you rewrite your own story without my interference. I ask you the same question again, and you just go through it and go, hmm, actually, now looking at it again, x, y, z, and you start changing things. Once the ground is clear from the past holding, then we start working on mindset mastery, things that help people increase their self belief, increase their belief in the possibilities of the future, overcoming procrastination, seeing opportunities, becoming resourceful, and that's kind of the whole journey. So let me.

Jason [00:15:39]:

So if I rewind, you ask someone if something got them stuck in the past and they're clinging on to that, and that's preventing them to move forward, you are asking them, write down the narrative, write down the story. You're telling yourself, understand the elements, because what I understand is when we do this, we actually understand the rules of the games that we have defined for ourselves, consciously or unconsciously. Because those rules back in the day, 10, 20, 30 years ago may have served us, but those rules now may be serving against us. And what I understand, what you're saying, Moustafa, is look at those rules. Are those rules working for you presently? We don't have to go diving into the past and bring up all the noise. Maybe. But maybe it's understanding those limitations that you set up for yourself, redefining those and then projecting that into the future to overcome procrastination or some level of anxiety depending upon something or whatever's holding you back.

Moustafa [00:16:31]:

Is that what I understand you beautifully summarized. It's basically. It is exactly that. It's not about digging endlessly into the past. I'm not taking away the value of healing. I'm just compartmentalizing. Rather than shooting a beam light, I'm going laser. So if we're going to look into the past, let's look into the parts of the past.

Moustafa [00:16:50]:

I'm not here to do full regressions and go back to every childhood trauma. I'm asking question if your challenge for why you're coming to me or reading the book or taking my course is something specific, let's look at what's relevant, because think of it as like, it's like beads. Once you grab the first one and take it out, the rest will start rolling away. So all you got to do is not go digging and all just go to the root, look into that element, and then let's resolve that and then rewrite the story, because it's that one degree of difference from going here, you make one degree and you put time span into it. Huge difference into the future. So, very well summarized.

Jason [00:17:25]:

And so if we move on to. So, once we've kind of got a hold on a narrative, once we redefine that narrative, then the idea, hopefully it becomes a new default way of thinking. It becomes a habitual way of thinking. So how does some, someone from your expertise create this new default narrative? You know, the old one will always be there. I mean, it's just a habit of thinking, but it can go dormant in the mind. And sometimes it pops up, but then you realize, okay, that's the old narrative. It's not me, it's just my brain kicking up something. But how do you, Moustafa, get someone to create a more habitual way of thinking, this new, healthy narrative that's serving them and not serving against them.

Jason [00:18:06]:

So it becomes a habitual way of thinking, the default.

Moustafa [00:18:09]:

I love your questions. And the answer to that is the last chapter of the book. Okay? And that last, because that's the same conversation that I. And that's why I go through the same journey as a user myself first. And I go, okay, I've reached the end. Am I Superman now? What's missing? And the simple answer here is keep brushing your teeth. There is no anybody. Anybody, even if it's me.

Moustafa [00:18:34]:

If I ever look you in the eye. I mean, there are times when you do certain deep work, but the reality is if anybody ever looks you in the eye and go this it, and that's the one thing you'll only ever need to do for the rest of your life. Warning sign that a shovel company, they're not giving you real gold. Okay? You need to keep brushing your teeth. You can go to the dentist and get a teeth whitening. If you don't brush your teeth daily, guess what's going to happen? It's going to build up over time and all of that is going to go away. It's the same with everything. Meditation, an important part.

Moustafa [00:19:05]:

And what I give in the book, I give a lot of bonus packs stuff to give away and one of them is an actual meditation. And for me, one of the biggest transformations in my life has been daily meditation. Consistency with what you're doing. But you need a bit of both. You need the deep work. If you need a root canal, you got to do a root canal. If you need a whitening, you got to do a whitening. And you need daily maintenance.

Moustafa [00:19:26]:

And you need weekly maintenance. And you need monthly maintenance. That's the books that you read, the courses that you take, the beautiful podcast that you listen to. All of this needs to come together as an ecosystem. And that's why I'm very systematic, because I don't only give the book, I give the book and I give a lot of downloadable bonuses. Things that you put on your screen saver, on your computer or on your phone. The image that you put on your phone could be a beautiful reminder of what you know, something or inspirational quote that you want, the meditation that you do daily inspirational posters that you can print and put around you. It's about creating an ecosystem and living.

Moustafa [00:20:00]:

That this is the only way you're going to get permanent, consistent change over time.

Jason [00:20:05]:

So within your environment, what you're saying is to create physical reminders. That might be a post it note where you pick up your car keys or your keyboard as you sit down to work. It doesn't have to be anything on that post it note. It could just be that physical reminder. Go back to your story. Go back to your narrative. What are you telling yourself? So it's part of it kind of managing moments? Is it being able to be present? So I feel I'm gonna. I'm working on something, and I'm overworking because I have imposter syndrome or something, and I see that stuck because of whatever past I have.

Jason [00:20:35]:

And in the moment, I have that physical reminder, maybe one of your reminders, like an inspirational poster or something that triggers me. I'm just trying to get nuts and bolts here. And so does that mean I have to look at my thoughts and, okay, what am I telling myself right now? And then I try to reflect it back to my narrative that I worked with you to establish, or reading slingshot, I've reworked it, and that becomes a reminder, a way of triggering that new habit.

Moustafa [00:21:01]:

I love your question. And that actually is exactly the kind of a use case I have with the books that I create, is the book is a coherent meal, but because it's a system, is built like a puzzle all together. Make a full picture. But also, each piece has a use by itself. So every section has stages, and every stage has exercises. You can choose to revert back to one of the sections. So let's say at this stage, you've done the book, you're doing great. Two, three months later, life hits.

Moustafa [00:21:29]:

You know, shit happens. What to do. That's life. Something happens that is not good in your life, and you turn around and go, that has. I've been stuck in that story for a while. It happens to all of us. It happens to me. And I'm so busy doing my own work, running the business, writing books, publishing, running workshops.

Moustafa [00:21:45]:

I need my own maintenance. So I have coaches that are coaching me also. And when I'm working with them, they go, but listen, dude, you sound like you're stuck in your own story. I'm like, okay, good. Now let me go to the healing section. And in the healing section, there are parts which we can run through one by one. And I go, okay, am I looking at the part where I need to learn to appreciate what happened to me? Then I go to that section about appreciating my past, and then I could choose an exercise that works, and I could redo only that exercise, or I could redo a whole chapter. I could redo the whole section.

Moustafa [00:22:14]:

So, yes, it is about taking the tools and understanding these tools are just part of your. It's another arrow in your quiver, that's all I would think of is you just have extra tools from me and from other people and you go, today I feel like doing this part, it could be as simple when you're waiting for public transport, sitting by the beach in an airport and just doing one of those. Worth a lot.

Jason [00:22:35]:

Yeah. So a lot of this is simplified, but within the simplification there's a deep impact on how that can create this new narrative as you project yourself into the future, as you move into the future.

Moustafa [00:22:48]:

I love it. I love what you said about the simple. There are two things I'd love to share here. Albert Einstein says, genius is making things as simple as possible. And that's really the hard work for me, is really, how can I simplify things down to a point where you can really go laser sharp and go into what you want to deal with? Sometimes you need to do context work, but a lot of times it's really that specific screw that you need to tighten rather than try to re engineer your whole life back into the challenges with an industry that might need people to fix too many things for the industry to keep rolling or parts of the industry to keep rolling. So try to focus on simplifying the question. When you ask a simple question, you can find a simple answer and resolve that one element rather than try to restructure your whole life. And the other thing is the beauty and the downside of novelty.

Moustafa [00:23:36]:

Every time I'm on stage, I'm like, I put my, like, if you are here to learn something new, put your hands up. Everybody puts their hands up. I'm like, well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, I'm not going to share anything new, but I'm going to share what works. Are you interested in what's new or are you interested in what works? Because what I'm good at is showing you what works. And a lot of times you're going to go, but that's simple. It doesn't look novel. And I'm like, that's exactly what you need. You need the old school, simple, get it done, move with it.

Moustafa [00:24:04]:

Rather than the shiny object syndrome where you go, oh, this looks like the new tool. That's a very infomercials mentality where you just want the new app cruncher and just getting a six pack. You just have to do the work and eat well. You can buy all the tools. If you don't use them, they're of no use.

Jason [00:24:18]:

It's great to hear an author that's humble because you know, all the work that most of us in the contemporary society is being built. It's being built before us. We stand on the shoulders of greater men and women who've already established this. And a lot of this can come back down to what the Stoics did 2000 years ago. I mean, it's not exactly, but of course it's evolved and such, but it comes back down to those traditional ways of thinking that have served people well over centuries, if not millennia. And we come back, and sometimes it needs to be repackaged in a way that is contemporary, that is relatable. But it is just that it's not always the new shiny thing because you're tired of that. What you need is maybe not always.

Jason [00:25:02]:

We don't have to call it deep work, but transformational work. Things that actually work, that have substance, that have depth, that have meaning, and as you said, are measurable, that are practical. There's a process along this road, and sometimes it's just as easy as saying, trust the process. Trust the process because it's based on solid science. If we can just shift gears. You talk about mastering mindset. Can you operationally define for us from your perspective what mindset means?

Moustafa [00:25:30]:

Beautiful mindset is the way that your internal narrative functions and sets the scene for what you're going to do. So think of it this way. Your mindset impacts your behavior. And I'm simplifying it. The book explains it a lot more with visuals and everything, but your mindset impacts your behavior, your thoughts, your mindset impacts your thoughts, and your thoughts impacts your behavior, and your behavior impacts your actions, and actions impact results. And guess what? Results impact your mindset. That's the closed loop that happens. I'll give you a great example for those that have been working during the, I'll say, you know, before the global financial crisis, and it could apply to the pandemic.

Moustafa [00:26:13]:

Think before any major issue, economical meltdowns, pandemic or whatever, people were hitting their targets. They walk into the room. If you were in sales, you walk into the room going, dude, my target is a million. I've hit the million. Next year, 1.3 million. No problem. I'm getting my bonuses because you're operating from a mindset of achievement. Pandemic hit same person, same company, same meeting room, three months later.

Moustafa [00:26:39]:

Try talking to them about their target. They're thinking, I can't even hit 10% of my target. Now, let's be realistic. The year hasn't finished yet. We're still at the beginning of the pandemic. And nobody knew where that was going. I can guarantee you everybody was thinking, oh, my God, I'm never going to be able to make that money. We're not working.

Moustafa [00:26:58]:

What's happening to them? Including me, what's happening? I had the publishing business that was going to hit rock bottom. I was going to lose the whole business. I was sitting and scratching my head, oh my God, what am I going to do? How can I fix it? I've spent years building this business, going down the drain now. And because most of my clients at that time were HR managers and they all lost their jobs, so I didn't know who to sell to, I had to do a mindset shift. When I did the mindset shift into, hold on, I can achieve results. What do I need to do to achieve those results? Then my behavior changed. And when my behavior changed, my actions changed accordingly. And according to those actions, my results changed and my confidence increased.

Moustafa [00:27:39]:

So I'm just giving case in hand example, I went from a situation where my publishing business kind of hit rock bottom and just go vanish. And I doubled my author portfolio in the first year of the pandemic that till date, I've done better in that year than a lot of the years that came after that or before that. That was simply because of a small mindset shift that I did.

Jason [00:27:59]:

Let me ask you. So we've talked about sort of narrative. We talked about mindset. We talked about thinking. And some listeners may be thinking, okay, what's the difference between a mindset and thought? Isn't a mindset a collection of thoughts that drive the mindset? Or do you separate sort of operationally to define thinking or thoughts different from mindset? Because if mindset drives thought, which drives emotion, which drives behavior, which gives a positive or negative result and then feeds back to mindset, just to challenge you, what is the difference between the thought and a mindset?

Moustafa [00:28:33]:

I love your questions. I mean, they're very deep thought, and obviously I haven't thought about that angle of the conversation before. Reality is mindset. If I would say, mindset would be the ground that you're planting the thoughts in. That would be my intuitive answer to your question. Because if you have, think of it this way. And that's part of the reason why affirmations in principle, don't work. Okay? If you do them alone, you are planting an affirmation, which is a beautiful thought, into a ground that has a negative mindset.

Moustafa [00:29:04]:

Anybody who's in any sort of farming, even if you had a proper house plant, you know, if you put the wrong seed in the right seed in the wrong soil, it's not going to come out. There has to be a match. Mindset is that ground where you're planting those thoughts in. Of course. Good thoughts make the ground that you're planting it better, because now you have a forest of beautiful thoughts that feeds and you have a whole ecosystem. Then the question becomes, well, what is feeding? What is your mindset feeding your thoughts? Are your thoughts feeding that? It's a closed circle. It doesn't matter as long as you've got a positive upward spiral, better than a negative downward spiral. So I would say mindset remains to be the foundation.

Moustafa [00:29:43]:

Thoughts, a lot of positive thoughts can build a good mindset, but vice versa doesn't work. If you have a negative mindset, you can keep adding. It won't do the work unless you do deep work plus daily meditations. Over time, you change the microbiome of your mindset, then that would work.

Jason [00:30:00]:

Yeah, I think that's a very clear picture for people to understand, to distinguish, because, you know, that earth, that soil you speak to, that is based on your experience. And if the experience you have from your past is one that you've written a negative story about, then obviously you're going to be, you know, positive affirmations or positive thoughts are not going to grow there. But I think what I hear you saying, Moustafa, is that if we reframe what has happened to us, for example, if something bad happened to us, but we ask ourselves, what did you learn from that experience? Just to keep it simple, then obviously we pull something from that and that experience by reframing it, we are changing the microorganisms in the soil. So then when we start the process of what you're saying, you know, what you say, overcoming the past. Overcoming the past limitations and mastering mindset. Obviously, by reframing the experience or re engineering the microorganism of that soil, then it becomes a lot easier for flowers to come to fruition, or thoughts. And they don't always have to be positive thoughts. They can be constructive thoughts.

Jason [00:31:05]:

Because sometimes you're in a shitty situation. Any way you cut, it's a shitty situation, but you can have a constructive way of looking. How do I come through this? I don't like the storm, but how do I come through the storm? And even then, that soil produces thoughts that produce more constructive emotions, that produce more reflective behavior. Constructive behavior. And that feeds a confidence loop. Is this kind of what I've captured, what you're saying when it comes back down to your analogy of soil, 100%.

Moustafa [00:31:32]:

And if you allow me here, I think it's very timely to actually break down the steps. Remember, I said every stage, which is the healing, has substeps. I think that's a beautiful segue for us to talk about that. I'm going to verbatim quote them from the book because, as I mentioned, I'm very systematic. So I want to give the actual wording because there's a reason every word I'm using. So after writing your story, okay, which is what I said, change your story, change your life. That's the baseline of healing your past. The next step after that is actually to appreciate your past.

Moustafa [00:32:02]:

Okay? That's a very interesting concept. That's really about honoring your struggles because they have served you. And the image that comes to mind here is, is basically wearing your scars like a badge of honor. Think of a lion that has a lot of those scars on them. And it's beautiful image for us to remember that we are all living in a wild jungle of life. And whatever it is that you live in, civilization, business, corporate world, there is wildness in the way life deals with us and we deal with life and we come out scarred. But those scars, if we let them define us negatively, then that is where the problem happens. But if you actually reframe that and go, hold on, this is actually something that I need to honor because it made me who I am today.

Moustafa [00:32:46]:

When I look back at my story, I could tell you so many sob stories in the past. And when I reframed them, they made me who I am today. And this is where that whatever doesn't kill me make me stronger comes handy. Once you've really appreciated that past element, you actually want to understand what is holding you back, okay? And there's a lot of that trying to prove something, and you have nothing to prove to anybody but yourself. That's a journey, an inner journey. When we were kids, it's normal, you know, we go to mom and dad, mommy, daddy, look what I did. And then mommy and daddy go, oh, good boy. Good girl.

Moustafa [00:33:23]:

Well done. Okay? But the reality is we're not children anymore. But we repeat and maintain those patterns of seeking approval. It goes from parents into school teachers into university into social circles into our boss. Fine, they do serve us in certain healthy doses. And over time, we need to have, you know, our own agency. We need to have command over our own life. And that's really when we understand what is actually holding us back.

Moustafa [00:33:48]:

That's the next step in the process. Once we clear that? We go. Hmm. Now that is really clear. The next step is to actually, you pulled back into the past. Just let go. It's about releasing that negative emotional baggage. And why I say negative emotional baggage is because we are the ones that turn those emotions into baggage and we keep carrying through in our life.

Moustafa [00:34:13]:

Something happened at that time was this. There is nothing to say that my father's a divorce followed by my father's passing away, followed by my whatever it is. None of that. I can say it was a beautiful experience. There is value in what I got. There is value in it, but it's not a beautiful experience. So reframing doesn't mean putting makeup on it. I'm not the guy that likes that.

Moustafa [00:34:37]:

I actually like you to look. I'm not a glass half full or glass half empty. I'm not a pessimist. I'm not an optimist. I'm a realist. A realist says the glass is half empty, half full. And how can I fill the empty? That's my approach. So I really want to look at how can I let go of the emotional baggage of, oh, but I'm like this because I'm like this because of that.

Moustafa [00:34:57]:

And because when you let go of that and go, okay, this was not a mistake. A mistake is something. You fool me once, shame on you. You fool me twice, shame on me. So the first one was a mistake. I learn from my mistake, and I move on. Some mistakes, we pay for more than others. You make a big mistake, you lose a million.

Moustafa [00:35:15]:

You make a big mistake, you lose a body part. I've done so. I've injured myself so much. I do a lot of extreme sports. I have six damage discs in my spine. So those things when you release the emotional trauma of, oh, my God, I messed up my neck skydiving. I'm a bad guy. Fine, we do it.

Moustafa [00:35:33]:

We deal with the emotions. Let go and go. Okay. What's the lesson for me? And then that's where the value comes to the next step, which is turning lessons into wisdom. So once you identify the lesson, you go, that's the wisdom that I live by, moving forward. And then you go back and. Hold on. Let me look at the same exact story.

Moustafa [00:35:50]:

Oh. My father passed away. I got a divorce. I moved to a new country. The outcome, I doubled. And this is the actual thing. I doubled my publishing business. I wrote two books during the pandemic, launched my online author school.

Moustafa [00:36:03]:

Yeah. And I've done XYZ, just done so many things in that period. That I could have not achieved had I not been put in that corner. So that's kind of the summary of the whole healing stage.

Jason [00:36:14]:

And obviously, as you said, each book goes deep into the steps with the exercise to sort of cement and crystallize it for the reader and such as they move forward. I think that whole idea of mindsets and the ability to release emotional baggage, a lot of people thinking, yeah, that sounds logical. But emotionally, they find that very hard to do just to challenge you on that bit, because it is a really brilliant process. You've built that. It's based on experience, that you've tested yourself, that you've tested with your clients. And such a person goes, okay, I get it. I rewrite my narrative. I learned the lessons.

Jason [00:36:56]:

But you know what? It's so hard for me to release the emotions. I can do it partially, but I feel it's almost like, as you said, a rubber band. It just sticks to me. It just won't let go. Is there some concrete suggestions you can leave with my listeners about how do you release the emotional baggage? Even I redefined it and I've reframed it and such, but it still, it clings to me.

Moustafa [00:37:21]:

I love it. I love your question. And please do keep challenging me because that really where I asked a test, can I walk the talk? So, you know the saying that I share when I'm on stage, I say the longest distance a leader has to walk is between their mouth and their feet. So keep challenging me. Am I walking the talk and am I able to deliver on results? Because I stand by what I say. I deliver.

Jason [00:37:41]:

Will do, brother. Will do.

Moustafa [00:37:42]:

And the thing is with that process, because it's a process. And that's why I said, when I'm going to quote, I'm going to quote it in sequence using the exact terminology, because I'm not talking theory here. I'm giving exact, specific steps that they need to be done in sequence. Number one, every step that I mentioned, you cannot skip to the next step because then you're trying to release when you're not ready to release. First there has to be the rewriting of the story, the writing of the story. Then the second thing, there has to be, you know, the understanding. So I'm building awareness. Awareness is the first step in really resolving all of those unresolved emotions.

Moustafa [00:38:18]:

If you just come now and do, I could get you to do an exercise, write your story, look at what's positive in it, rewrite it again. You know how many times I've done that myself? It never worked. I've done fire rituals, written the letters through it. There's one week later, I'm elated than the workshop that I go to. One week later, I'm back. And worse, twice as depressed as I was before because I haven't gone deep enough. I mean, think I'll use a dentist analogy. If a dentist realizes you, you need a root canal, doing a filling is not going to work.

Moustafa [00:38:47]:

So trying to do surface work is not going to work. You're going to have to go deep into that, and going deep into that is looking into the mirror. So, three things I talk about in anything I do, whether it's coaching workshops, my systems do not work for everybody. They do not work for people that don't have three things. Number one, courage and ownership. That is about looking in the mirror and being honest with yourself and brutally honest. Okay? So any question I ask, if you're actually going through the process and giving surface level answers, you're going to get surface level results. Next thing is humility, which is the ability to be willing to say, I need help, and I'm willing to follow through the process even if I'm not coaching one to one.

Moustafa [00:39:26]:

If you follow the process that requires humility, our ego comes in the way of our healing because that is going to require us to acknowledge that we are the ones that made those decisions. For me, once, shame on you. You fool me. Twice, shame on me. If we've done the same thing over. So in the question about the story, I ask, for example, if your life was a movie, what genre would it be, and what's the title of that movie? And then you start analyzing what are the reoccurring themes? Now, let's just do some normal analysis over here. If anybody gives you something, a reoccurring problem in a process, in a business, what do you look for to resolve it? You look for the repeated pattern. What is common? And guess what is the number one common thing in anybody's story is us.

Moustafa [00:40:16]:

So the number one, if that requires humility, if you're going to be able to look in the mirror and go, you know what? I'm actually, that's on me. Courage. I'll own it. Brutally honest with myself. Humility. I do need help, and I'm willing. And number three, discipline. They got to follow the process.

Moustafa [00:40:31]:

They got to do the work. They got to do the meditations. They got to do the exercises. So if you can't release it, one of the exercises in the book, what's in it for you? How does it serve you? How did it serve me? I'll take an example. How did it serve me to have that sob story of, oh, my God, I went through a divorce and I went through my father passing away and I went through all of that. I realized I was honestly burned out. I've had a rough few years and I needed an excuse for a break. A very tough dude.

Moustafa [00:41:00]:

I mean, you know, my nickname at the early stage of my career was mister passion. I'm the guy who became one of the world's top experts on the topic of passion. 160 plus interviews with some of the world's top experts on one topic called passion. How can I not demonstrate passion? I needed some sort of an excuse to go back and hide for a little bit and go, listen, dude, I need self care. And I couldn't do it because my ego couldn't handle, like, I'm not. What do you mean? I'm not Superman. I'm mister Passion. Everybody uses me as an example of passion.

Moustafa [00:41:27]:

So then how it served me to release the emotion first is how is it serving me to stay stuck where I am now? I needed a break. Fine. Now that I know I need a break. What, that's ulterior motive? Yeah. Then how can I get that without needing to hold on to the story? So I let go of the story and go, you know what? I'm going to officially take off for another month or two. I'm not working. Everybody knows I'm not working. I'm not taking on coaching clients.

Moustafa [00:41:52]:

I'm not producing any new content. Publishing business fairly runs by itself. I'm off the grid, guys. Sorry. Tough luck. If I lose a couple of deals, I owe it to myself. Only then I can go back and release that emotion. But you can't release an emotion if you have not untangled the story behind it and break it down.

Moustafa [00:42:10]:

I learned a beautiful terminology in consulting. They call it decouple. Because sometimes you're trying to release something. But there's two elements. One you can release, one you cannot release. Another example of an exercise in the book is if somebody has done us harm, everybody had somebody who's hurt them. Okay, so let's play a little simulation game here. If there's somebody that has done you bad, has done you harm in whichever way, intentionally or not, and you felt that you're still unable to let go of that or release them, you have someone that comes to mind, you don't have to share the story.

Moustafa [00:42:43]:

I'm sure everybody has one of those stories where you feel there. Yes.

Jason [00:42:45]:

Sure, sure. Yeah.

Moustafa [00:42:47]:

Let me ask you. Don't you think that one of the main reasons you're unable to let go of that is because you feel if you let go of that, then you have let go of that person and that is not fair. If that person did you wrong in whichever way, if you actually let go of that, you feel you're letting them go. That is one reason and all of us innate as children, want to be fair. We want to see a fair world, which is a big struggle to looking around us and still trying to maintain a fair world. So deep inside us we're trying to maintain a fair world. But then somebody does us wrong and we let go of that, then we've said it's okay and that will make the world a very bad place if it's okay for people to do bad by others. However, if you make a realization and hold on by me letting go, I'm releasing myself from the emotional baggage that I'm carrying.

Moustafa [00:43:34]:

But by no means do I let them off the hook for that. And this is where I say to forgive and forget is stupid. And sorry if I insult anyone with this word. But to forgive and forget is stupid. It's a very sexy term to say on social media, forgive and forget. It sounds very cool to say it in a workshop. I'm sorry did. Anybody with 2oz of IQ will never forget.

Moustafa [00:43:58]:

Because if you forget, guess what happens? You repeat the same mistake again and then we start beating ourselves up and going, oh, how come this keeps happening to me? Poor me. No, not poor you. It's on you. You got to own that. When you own it, then you go, okay, now I've learned my lesson. I will forgive but I will not forget because I don't want to be in a place where I have to forgive some such a bad doing again. The other second reason where people don't let go of emotional baggage, why they can't let go of the emotion is because they have invested a lot into that story. If I've built my whole life around the story, okay, if I've built my whole life of I am who I am today because I lost all my money and my father died and this and x, y, z and I became this person, I became the inspirational speaker I am because I lost everything and I had to bounce back.

Moustafa [00:44:47]:

And that's the only way I get on stage. And that's the only story I tell on stage. Its illogical for anybody to let go of a story that is the baseline of someones success because thats the cornerstone of it. And when we relook at that investment that we made and again we decouple and we say, because that was somehow my story early on, first book, the only story I had was talking about passion and talking about how I lost everything and I left Dubai and bought a one way ticket to India. And over time, that was my only thing. Then over time, that became only one chapter in my book, but that became one book out of three books. So you can imagine that the investment that I have made in that became so small and irrelevant that even in this interview I have not brought anything about my history and story of how I got into this. That was the only thing I would talk about in an interview today.

Moustafa [00:45:32]:

I don't. So really, if people are unable to release the emotions, it's one of the two. They're either thinking, but if I release that, I will release the person or, and, or if I am invested into that, what does it mean when I let go of that whole story? What would I lose of who I am? And thats a big identity crisis.

Jason [00:45:51]:

I think those are two major salient points, because from my experience to piggyback on what youve just said, this may sound counterintuitive to a lot of people, but the brain hangs onto things that we find pleasure in. It could be a twisted form of pleasure. Now, this is not for everybody, but I mean, a lot of the times we hang on to certain emotions because, as you said, it's narrative. It becomes part of our identity. We are so locked into the identity that if we give that up, then our brain is thinking we're giving up some sort of pleasure. Because, as you know, Moustafa, I mean, all human, the human operating systems based on two movements, moving forward or moving back, attracted or repelled. And a lot of us don't want to give up that. And that might be just very black and white terms here.

Jason [00:46:37]:

This sense of victim, the sense of attention I get from telling this story. Right. But if I give that up, then I lose that attention. The principle, as twisted as it may be, the reason we hang on to anything from my experience is because at some level it feeds us negatively or positively. But there is some sort of pleasure principle there. Now, as I said, it may be counterintuitive. And once we can come to accept that, how does this actually feed me? Right? Why am I clinging on to this narrative, as you said, or this identity? Once we can have that, as you so stutely said, have that self awareness, then that kind of, that's part of that releasing as you're talking about the narrative. Right.

Jason [00:47:21]:

So I just wanted to breach that because I think that's a very important point because a lot of people get stuck in the mire right there. It's like how do I let go of the emotions? Well, reframe, reappraise, do the deep work as you said. Right. I'm very appreciative of your time and I'm very respectful of your time. Moustafa, I was wondering, how can people reach out and get your book? Where is it available?

Moustafa [00:47:45]:

The book is available on all major online stores, Amazon, Barnes and nobles kindle soon enough. Audible is not out yet. I'm still to record it, so that's going to come out soon. But all major online bookstores and also I, as I said, I put my money where my mouth is. I've been blessed with a lot of amazing mentors throughout my history of, of being speaker, coach and until date, it's the generosity of those people that made me who I am today. And I also want to stand by the fact that, yes, we all need to make a living. But priority number one is serving because I believe serving is the new selling. So my priority is, of course, there's a business and I need to make a living as the next person.

Moustafa [00:48:25]:

And my product is providing value to people's life. But I also want to lead with generosity and with genuine care and also support you in spreading the beautiful message of helping people. So if people go to my website, slingshot. So that's the name of the book, slingshot. They will go to a landing page. Usually they would have to buy the book to download a lot of the tools that I mentioned. I am giving them the book away for free. A copy, an e copy of the book, plus both my previous books, online meditation, inspirational posters, anything that are beneficial people.

Moustafa [00:49:04]:

And they just have to use the code. Jason Lim so as per the spelling of your show, and if they put that code there instead of the book code, because usually they have to buy and there's a code inside the book, they will get all of those bonuses for free.

Jason [00:49:17]:

Well, that's very, very generous. You must also, I will be sure to include that link in the show notes as we come to the finishing line of this episode. Unfortunately, maybe there'll be a part two. Is there any last ideas or suggestions or recommendations or wisdom you'd like to impart to my listeners? To our listeners?

Moustafa [00:49:37]:

Thank you very much. It's been an amazing interview and yeah, it's been an hour already. I think it flew by and we barely scratched the surface. We could easily get on more with that. And yes, could be a second one. But I'd say the biggest thing to understand is you are not broken. Okay? It's sometimes we all have been oversold to and over promised. And really be critical.

Moustafa [00:50:02]:

Even of me or anybody that's trying to sell you something and ask valid questions. Do not act out of desperation. Remember, the only one that makes money in a gold rust is shovel company. So make sure what you're buying is real gold, not just the shovel that's promising you to dig out some gold in your life. And if I leave you with one inspiring quote that I learned from interviewing 160 plus people talking about one topic which is passionate, is that the fact that passionate people do not wait for life to happen to them, they happen to life. So I know just the fact that you're listening to Jason's show and amazing content that he brings. You are somebody who's mastering your destiny, mastering your mindset. Have the self belief that you can do it.

Moustafa [00:50:49]:

Follow on with the right quality work, courage, humility and discipline. Own up to it. Do the work and you will get the results. It's not a question of if, it's a question of when. So keep up the great work.

Jason [00:51:01]:

Outstanding. Outstanding. I really like that. Moustafa, thank you very much for the generosity of your time, for the extras that my listeners can download at your website. I learned a lot today and that is always definite sign that we've had a great, great conversation. So thank you very much Moustafa, thank.

Moustafa [00:51:20]:

You for the amazing interview and for challenging me and putting me on the spot. I like that.

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Moustafa Hamwi - Keynote Speaker, Coach, Author