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Tools and Techniques to Pursue Your Passions and Get Results

June 6, 2024

In this episode, I had a great conversation with Nick Bracks of Move Your Mind podcast, where I share actionable strategies to overcome personal obstacles, maintain focus, and foster a resilient mindset. I emphasize the importance of recognizing your true worth, shifting from a problem-focused to an opportunity-focused mindset, and making impactful changes where possible.

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Live Passionately,

Moustafa Hamwi

Passionpreneur & Chief Energy Officer

Award Winning Author & Speaker


Nick [00:00:00]:
Moustafa, so great to meet you. Thanks for making the time.

Moustafa [00:00:03]:
Nick, thank you very much for having me on the show.

Nick [00:00:06]:
Really appreciate it, mate. And a fellow Melburnian. I'm back here at the moment, so we're just talking about, you know, in person versus Zoom interviews and I wish we actually probably could have, you know, if I knew in advance that I would be here at this time, we could have been in person. But anyway, glad, glad we get to talk.

Moustafa [00:00:22]:
Thank you for having me and. Yeah, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, mate.

Nick [00:00:25]:
Yeah, exactly. So would you. I'll just dive in. Would you be able to give a background on yourself, a bit of your story and how you came to be doing what you're now doing?

Moustafa [00:00:34]:
Yeah, thank you for giving me the opportunity. So I'll zoom back to about when I started my career. I started my career handling public relations in Dubai for companies like Nokia, Showtime, Cisco, Mastercard, Philips. So I'm a solid corporate guy in public relations, but the highlight of that career was Nokia, particularly because Nokia allowed me access to a lot of events when they were the biggest sponsor of concerts and parties. I became the most popular guy in town. Access backstage, access to all beautiful things, left the business, left the company that I was working for, opened up my own business, grew the business to multimillion dollar, 45 people doing again events, parties, modeling agency and so on. Long story short, I got fed up with that lifestyle and bought a one way ticket to India on a search for passion and purpose. Win 2012, came back 2013, started delivering inspirational talks around passion, then started getting into coaching, launched my own talk show at that time was called Passion Sundays, and then wrote my book, which became a bestseller.

Moustafa [00:01:34]:
And people started reaching out to me, asking me for help with their books, and then ended up opening a publishing business, Passionpreneur Publishing, based out of Melbourne. And that was all the beautiful peaks. But 2020 comes and the pandemic hits and I was coming out of a divorce, looking for a fresh start, which is why I moved to Melbourne, only to find myself in the most lockdown city in the world. I moved here 20 March 2020, like two, three days literally before the lockdown. And from there, everything started going downhill. My business looked like it was going to collapse because, you know, nobody had jobs to pay for publishing books and I was. My mental health was suffering big time and I was questioning and doubting everything I was doing. And then my father catches COVID, passes away in Dubai before I could see him.

Moustafa [00:02:15]:
Because of the lockdown, my mom gets a brain stroke. I eventually get a nervous breakdown. And thus all of that led me to write my third book, which is slingshot. And that's what brought us for this, for this interview. So that's kind of my life in 60 seconds.

Nick [00:02:29]:
Wow. Yeah. So the last sort of three, four years have been a whirlwind for you. It's a lot to go through. So how did you. So was writing that book big part of that process of dealing with everything going on? What were some of the other things that helped you get through that?

Moustafa [00:02:45]:
100%. So the source material, obviously, you know, you don't write a book over. There's a lot of years of research. So the source material for this book was part of my original research ten years back when I was writing about passion, because I realized when I was helping people discover their passion, they had one of two challenges. One is they had a lot of previous conditioning of why they cannot do certain things. So no matter how hard I worked on showing them an answer that I could see, I pointed at them, they don't want to see it. And that was because of conditioning. Previous conditioning or family traumas or cultural traumas.

Moustafa [00:03:16]:
Example, I was working with a guy who I knew was destined to be one of the greatest chefs I've ever met. But his father said, over my dead body. My son works in a kitchen. So the father had this conditioning of kitchen is for women. My son is. A man has to do a man's job, and there's no way I could show that guy his passion. So that's the healing part of the book. And then some people, they see it, but they realize they're so far away.

Moustafa [00:03:38]:
Like, in my case, I was in nightlife, and I wanted to be a speaker and a coach. Well, dude, like, world's apart. So then the self limiting beliefs come in, and that's the mindset, mastery. I had those two, but I had self doubt again, imposter syndrome. No matter how great we are, we always question ourselves. So I took that material after my first success of the book, left it down. Publishing business came. Life was beautiful.

Moustafa [00:03:57]:
Forgot about all of that until I started struggling with my own stuff. You know, I'm going through coaching and the coaching industry at that time at least, and a lot of them, not everybody, are just skewed towards. Coaching is about go go go mentality. You can do it, you can do it. Aaa character. You make your own destiny. Forget about what you feel. Just keep going as you've experienced yourself.

Moustafa [00:04:17]:
That leads to burnout eventually. A few burnouts, and I'm like, no, no, no, there's something there that is a feeling that I cannot explain and it's not in the mind. Go, go, go. I'm a stubborn person. I'm a determined person. It's not about that because I'm burning myself. I ended up swaying back to the healing space. And in the healing space, I was digging deeper.

Moustafa [00:04:35]:
And guess what happens when you dig? The deeper you dig, the deeper the hole goes. So I would walk in with one problem to a healing workshop only to walk out with two problems because I find myself more broken because there's only so much you can dig before you find other trauma. And how far do you want to go, you know, back in the lineage of the history and regressions and all of that. And I kept on swaying between those two until I realized there's an inherent problem with the self help industry that is very unipolar. It tries to be either or, either this or that. Either the coaching schools or the life coaching schools, or you've got the healing schools. And each of them has an advantage of keeping you stuck on the medicine they're providing. Because if you go to a healing workshop, you come back for to another one and another one, and you get upsold through the funnels, and then the other side of it is just go, go, go.

Moustafa [00:05:18]:
You're strong enough. You're strong enough. You're strong enough until you burn out. So one day I woke up and this was, you know, kind of my, aha. Moment of practice. What you preach. When I was in the pandemic, I remember in lockdown, I was living in South bank in the tallest tower in Australia. Australia, one eight.

Moustafa [00:05:33]:
Beautiful view, but it seemed like a prison. And I was sitting, and I remember the view of the room as I'm talking to you. I could see the CBD on my left, the city and the Yarra river. And I'm sitting there depressed and really reflecting on my life in a negative manner. And suddenly a voice in my head was, practice what you preach. And I'm like, I need the tools. And this is when I remembered all the material that I wrote that were together. But then I remembered there was that issue of, okay, is it healing or is it mindset mastery? And they needed to come together in a coherent meal where you take one step back to dig into some of the issues from your past only enough to discover what's holding you back.

Moustafa [00:06:12]:
But then you got to let go of that so you can accelerate into the future. And that is where the slingshot analogy came through. And then the book ended up starting the writing during the pandemic and the book was born.

Nick [00:06:23]:
I love that. Well, I totally agree with everything you're saying there, because you do need both. I really believe that because, you know, you can very. It's important to dig into all of those issues, but you can then become a victim or be stuck in that. There's no practicality. And like you're saying, if it's just about productivity, then you can sometimes burnout or go around in circles because productivity without the right direction can actually be just holding you back from being able to pause and work out what the best way forward is without having to kill yourself in the process. So it's a very fine line, but I find it super interesting. You're talking about helping people find their purpose and their passion.

Nick [00:07:00]:
Is there a fine line with that? So let's say someone finds what they are passionate about, but there might sometimes be a, you know, not a complete, sort of complete harmony with. How can they actually make that passion into a career? You know, sometimes it might not match up. Do you think you can always find a way to make your passion work? Or is it about finding passion versus what's actually achievable?

Moustafa [00:07:24]:
Beautiful question. And throughout my research on the topic of passion, I realize there's a distinction of passion versus other things that are labeled as passion as much as love is misused. When somebody says to someone, I love you, what does that mean? You know, I love you for one night, I love you for a lifetime. I love you because I'm benefiting from you. Passion is a misused word in many contexts because it sells very well. You know, pursue your passion, but all somebody selling you is one of those personal development courses that are not necessarily offering value. Okay, so what I realize is that passion, and I don't want to dive too long into this because that's an interview by itself. But the definition of passion in my book is consistently doing what you love, what you're good at, and is a value to the world.

Moustafa [00:08:06]:
The magic is people think passion is about doing what you love, but also you got to get good at it. And getting good at it means you got to take time to do it, and you have to be able to add value to the world. But the distincting factor is the consistency, and most people are not consistent. People expect results today, tomorrow, in a month, in a year, but don't understand that real results take about three to five years on average. And there's, you know, a joke or a saying is every overnight success takes ten years so people are expecting that to happen. I discovered my passion today, and tomorrow I gotta quit my job and life becomes good. It doesn't work this way. You plant a seed, you gotta allow the seed to germinate and then split open, and then the roots to come and then the little bit of tree comes up and then it becomes a big tree.

Moustafa [00:08:46]:
But that takes time and takes process. So my experience is a reasonable expectation is a three to five year transition, and that three to five years, you have to be committed and dedicated and stay consistent. What I realize is most people along the way drop out of by end of first year. So they get anxious by six months, go all in for the next six months, not see the results they expect, drop out by the end of it. So for me to have become one of the leading experts on the topic of passion in the world, I've been at this topic now for about 13 years, and I went from writing one book at it into opening a publishing business called Passionpreneur publishing. I've helped 130 authors write books around passion. And then from there, now I wrote my third book. So I only get better by the day.

Moustafa [00:09:26]:
But it's a consistency game, like when you're training for a marathon or like you're training for anything. I'll use a racing analogy because I know you resonate well with that. The race of a marathon is in the last quarter, not in the beginning line. Everybody. There's too many people at the beginning line. It's those who cross the finish line. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to cross it. That's a different conversation.

Moustafa [00:09:43]:
Can you finish the race? Will you stay at it till you finish it? Some people finish an hour. I don't know if that's realistic, but an hour and some people finish in 10 hours. What matters is that you stay at it till you finish, and that's really where the race happens.

Nick [00:09:56]:
I couldn't agree more. And I love the way you're wording that. And it's like what you're saying with, you know, if you looked at love, anyone could just say, oh, I've met this person I'm so in love with. I'm feeling elation, and, you know, you're shouting it from the rooftops for the first month after meeting them, and then the relationship falls in a heap. It's more the actions. It's like you build that, you nurture that, and if that lasts, and you, you know, you build this relationship over ten years. Okay, well, maybe that real love, then probably it's the same with these things, you know, that's going to really separate what you actually want from what sounds like a nice idea to you. If it's.

Nick [00:10:28]:
It's got to have that deeper meaning. And I guess that's probably what a big part of it is. It would be a lot of people might think they're passionate or find purpose in something, but if they don't stick to it, they haven't dug deep enough and learnt enough about themselves to realize, hang on, what do I really, really care about if I remove all of these layers? What's the thing that I'm willing to do regardless of what the results are like? You're saying I'm going to see it through. So would that come down to people need to, you know, do the work on themselves to be able to find what it is that they're, they're willing to commit to?

Moustafa [00:10:59]:
This is what would takes me back to what slingshot is about. Because as I said I was, I can give people a lot of questions and, you know, things they can go through to find out their passion, but if they're still conditioned in their past or afraid and anxious about the future, they're not going to go anywhere. They'll find themselves even more depressed. Because if you don't know your passion, you're just okay with life. But once you discover your passion and you realize you're not living your passion, but you're too conditioned to move away from the past and too scared to move into the future, that's like a compression, which sometimes is good, because that's a good sign to tell people that you are not living your most passionate life because you are getting impressed in what you do. And the reality here is you want to take a step back and ask yourself what prejudices? That's one exercise I do in the book. I say, what prejudices do you have against certain careers and passions in life? Were you somehow conditioned by your community, by your culture, by your nationality, by your gender, by whatever it is to say this is a man's job and this is a woman's job, this is a. I'm an Arab and I don't do this, or I'm a westerner, we don't do this, or I'm american, or I'm this.

Moustafa [00:12:02]:
It's all these things that get conditioned in our brain and once you discover those stories that we've been telling ourselves. So part of the book works around changing the narrative, changing the story, the perspective, reframing it. So I get people to write the story. I cannot be successful as a speaker because I'm not a native english speaker. Actually, a funny story is when I started my career in Dubai about 2023 years back, I used to send emails to the client saying, nice to meet you, m e a t, so nice to meet you. And that was a joke because then at first the client thought, I'm hitting on them and somehow alluding to something physical until my boss explained that this guy can barely write English. Now there, there was a story in my mind when people literally, I remember when I had a business, all my team were like, mustafa, you gotta write a book. I'm like, you crazy, dude.

Moustafa [00:12:49]:
Like, I could barely. Okay, my English is good, eventually speaking, but I'm not a writer. I'm not a native english speaker. I hate reading and I hate writing. So there's a story in my mind. But when I reframe that story of hold on, I am passionate enough to learn what I have to learn, to research as much as I have to, to work at it, and I love it so much and I know it's going to change people's lives and I've got what it takes. When I changed the narrative of my story, I was able to release that story. And then I brought the mindset mastery element and here's a snapshot of what people will do and slingshot the book.

Moustafa [00:13:21]:
I ask you three key questions, then these are three actual exercises. Exercise number one, what's the worst that will happen if you don't pursue your. If you pursue your passion? What's the worst that will happen if you do actually pursue your passion? Because most of the time we're afraid of negative outcomes. I don't want to have a race. I remember you talked in your TEDx about getting into a dance competition. Well, what's the worst that's going to happen when you realize that the worst going to happen is I'm going to have a laugh. The worst going to happen is, well, fine, I don't win. I was never meant to win.

Moustafa [00:13:48]:
Or the worst that could happen is, well, I fail and I try again. Then you get over that irrational fear. Another question I ask, and that's I ask people to do at least ten, a list of ten things that are, they would be afraid of going through if they don't, if they pursue the passion. The other question I say, what would you regret if you did not pursue your passion? In my case would be, I regret not traveling the world. I regret not being able to change people's lives and have an impact that makes me feel that I have a purpose of being here. And I put all of these regrets, and then I ask, what is the best outcome that could happen when you pursue your passion. So that gives you a motivation, too. So you start writing.

Moustafa [00:14:28]:
Well, when I pursue my passion, I'll be able to travel the world. I'll be able to be a speaker, I'll be able to work from anywhere I want from my laptop. I'll be able to go on camping trips while still running my business. So suddenly you've got things to run away from, which is the fear of what if I don't pursue? And you've got things to run towards, and you've eliminated the fear of what could go wrong. That is the mindset mastery element of it. So you start with releasing all the conditioning, putting a bit of motivation to move, and combining those together allows you to change the narrative of your story. And now turning that story into a real pursuit of a passionate life, truly lived.

Nick [00:15:03]:
I love that. Yeah. Because it's making it really tangible and getting rid of this ambiguity. And I think a lot of that overwhelm comes from exactly that that you're talking about there. When we're feeling stuck, it's because we just don't know what to do. And, you know, where our mind can be very creative at coming up with all of these different scenarios. And then we sit in fear because it's often projecting things that just aren't going to happen. And like you're saying, when I, you know, I think it's so interesting when you actually go through the steps of what's the worst that can happen? It's not very bad.

Nick [00:15:31]:
You know, maybe get a little bit embarrassed or, I don't know, fall on your face and you keep moving forward. It doesn't. It really is not a big deal.

Moustafa [00:15:39]:
The fear, most of the time, the fear is greater than the reality of the problem. Not to say that sometimes a loss is not a big thing, but I can guarantee you one thing, that over time, regret for things that we did not do is bigger than regret for things that we did. We've all done stupid stuff in our life. We've all done stupid stuff in our life, and we still do. That's part of human nature. But what you do that you feel embarrassed about, over time, you forget about, we all mature and grow. Yeah, but what you did not do, you will regret the missed opportunity to do. And that's really why it's important for people to heal their past and master their mindset in a pursuit of a greater passionate life.

Nick [00:16:15]:
Absolutely. I think that's the only thing that we should be fearful of is regret, because I think making mistakes, even if it is painful, is so important because that's how we learn. You get the biggest lessons from that. So I think if you can have that mindset with what you're talking about there and then remind yourself, okay, even if I am a bit worried about if it doesn't go my way or whatever happens, even that's a positive because that's going to make me grow and learn and take me further towards the path I'm working towards. Hundred percent love what you're talking about.

Moustafa [00:16:42]:
French have a saying, I don't speak French, but I tried that. Never liked it. But the French have a saying, if you're not making mistakes, you're not learning.

Nick [00:16:49]:

Moustafa [00:16:49]:
Which is a great thing for all of us. We like our comfort zone, but I like to challenge myself if life is becoming too. We need autopilot for a period, but there's a point where autopilot becomes our enemy because we are too comfortable and we need a bit of a kick in the butt. The butt as in, but because we always have butts, you know, I can do this, but I can quit my job, but I can pursue my passion, but we sometimes need a kick in the butt to get moving and.

Nick [00:17:15]:
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I couldn't agree more. Well, I love everything you're talking about here. If people want to learn more about your work and if they want to find your books or anything else, where can they go?

Moustafa [00:17:26]:
Well, I'm very grateful to you and to all the listeners who would, you know, give even 2030 minutes of their time to listen to me going on about my experience. And I would love to serve them. So this, as I mentioned, this is my latest book, Slingshot Practical guide to becoming a master of your destiny, not a victim of your history. I would love to give all the listeners a free e copy of this book plus a copy of my live passionately book, which is the, you know, the word to find your passion. Plus a lot of bonuses, including meditations and things that will help them on the journey of pursuing a passionate life. All they have to do is they go to slingshot. Moustafa is forward slash slingshot, like a slingshot. And they'll put a name and email and there's supposed to be a code there.

Moustafa [00:18:10]:
All they have to put is Nick in reference to your show. And once they put that, they'll be able to access all of these beautiful bonuses, and hopefully I can help them continue their journey.

Nick [00:18:19]:
Well, very generous of you. So we'll make sure for everyone listening that will be in the show notes and. And make sure to go and do that because, yeah, I mean, amazing resource. I can't wait to have a read of it myself because I've already taken so much out of listening to you here, and I know so many of our listeners would be just so excited to dive into this. So we'll make sure to have that in the show notes. Finally, we finish every episode with five closing questions. These can be sort of, you know, quick answers, whatever comes to mind. The first one being, what is your best childhood memory that comes to mind?

Moustafa [00:18:53]:
Being in nature with animals, being on a horse, or being by the siege is simple, simple things.

Nick [00:19:00]:
Love it. What do you think is currently the biggest burden on mental health in society?

Moustafa [00:19:06]:
Not acknowledging that we have a problem. Awareness. It's just not acknowledging that we do have a problem.

Nick [00:19:14]:
Yeah, absolutely. What's your personal definition of happiness?

Moustafa [00:19:18]:
That's a tough question. I'm gonna need a little bit longer than a quick answer, because in my book, I say the pursuit of happiness is making you sad. Because I talk about purpose, and purpose brings fulfillment. Happiness is momentarily, so it's what makes you happy is something momentarily. What might make me happy is a chocolate or an ice cream now. But then it has a negative side to it. Fulfillment, even when it has a negative side, is building up on the journey of me finding passion and purpose and meaning in life. So I'd say let's talk about fulfillment, which is living your passion and purpose.

Nick [00:19:49]:
I think it's a brilliant answer, and anyone listening just read the book if you want to get the full answer to that. So two more here. What are you most afraid of?

Moustafa [00:19:57]:
I love your questions. I'd say not being. Not living a life that really I'm meant to live, and not leaving a purpose and not being good enough to make that happen. I think I speak for a lot of people that are listening. I think most of us have these challenges, dying before having a purpose and a meaning and not being good enough for that. And my answer is always reminding myself and everybody that you are good enough as you are, without, even without, by the way, having a passion and purpose. You know, I think I want to be conscious here, not to get people on a burnout of trying to pursue passion and purpose and burning out in the process. You are good enough as you are, and from that space, you will find.

Nick [00:20:32]:
Your passion and purpose yeah yeah I think that's so well put well final one what are you most proud of?

Moustafa [00:20:39]:
Everything in my life I'd say I'm proud of but I'd say now. Now is probably this is my biggest pride because that took a lot of me to able to be open and honest and talk about I talk a lot about my own challenges about how I was negatively mindset and all of that so for now I'd say this year this is my biggest pride yeah.

Nick [00:20:55]:
Well I mean amazing story that you shared that you had to overcome to put this together I think it's an incredible example and I think everything you're talking about will resonate with so many people like I said I can't wait to read it and so great to connect with you I know you're super busy so thank you so much thank.

Moustafa [00:21:11]:
You Nick really appreciate it and looking forward to meeting and speaking again.

Nick [00:21:15]:
Same here mate same here chat soon.

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Moustafa Hamwi - Keynote Speaker, Coach, Author