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What is Your Purpose in Life?

April 25, 2024

What is your purpose in life? Recognize that your most valuable asset is your time; start taking action towards a more meaningful and purposeful life. Move closer to your passion by doing more of what you like and less of what you don't like, gradually subcontracting or delegating tasks that don't align with your purpose. Learn to live a more authentic life.

I'm excited to share that I had the privilege of being interviewed by Andrea Petrone in The World Class Leaders Show, where I shared how I became enlightened about my purpose in life and valuable lessons I learned from my own self-discovery journey.

Connect with Moustafa Hamwi at:

For More Motivational & Inspirational Interviews subscribe to Moustafa Hamwi YouTube Channel:

Live Passionately,

Moustafa Hamwi

Passionpreneur & Chief Energy Officer

Award Winning Author & Speaker


Andrea [00:00:00]:

Good morning everyone and welcome back to a new episode of the world class leaders show. Today we have someone that comes from really far away respect where I am today. So he's in Australia. So he's Moustafa Hamwi. is the best selling author, international speaker and mindset coach. His background span diverse disciplines from executive coaching, hypnotherapy, yoga and meditation to adventure sports and natural healing. unique lifestyle as an executive nomad as he is traversing the globe, often spending months living out of the campervan he will tell us about immersing himself in diverse cultures and forging a deep connection with nature. His quest for self discovery leads him to learning and meditation centers worldwide exploring the intricacies of mind, body and soul.

Andrea [00:00:49]:

His life journey and extensive research have culminated in apparent knowledge and insight and is globally recognized as a foremost expert and top leader in reuniting passion with it. So , thank you so much for being on the show today.

Moustafa [00:01:01]:

Andrea, thank you very much for having me on the show. Really excited.

Andrea [00:01:04]:

Great. So , one question I have for you to start is you have this passion about discovering yourself. How did it, you know, how did you develop that, you know, as an individual?

Moustafa [00:01:17]:

So I basically started my, I'll take you a couple of steps before that question that will lead to it, which is I started my career in Dubai handling the public relations for multi multinationals like Nokia, Cisco, Showtime. So I originally came from a professional corporate communications background. Through that. Nokia was the biggest sponsor of all events at that time. I guess, you know, you're probably as old as I am and we all remember Nokia. And through that I got exposed to a lot of events and nightlife and I got, I became the most popular guy in Dubai because I had backstage access to all the beautiful events and parties. Eventually I quit the company that I was working for, opened up my own business, continuing with the same manner. So we were doing conferences, seminars, summits, corporate events during the day, but night life parties and DJ's and so on at night.

Moustafa [00:02:02]:

And that slowly evolved into my partners opened up nightclubs. We opened the first Roberto Cavaldi club in Dubai. We opened several nightclubs. I had the modeling agency, events agency. Sounds very exciting for most guys in their early twenties. But over time I woke up one day feeling so empty on the inside where like, okay, all of I've got all the glitz and glamour and shiny stuff but I don't have the something inside me that makes me feel fulfilled. And this is when I eventually woke up one day, left everything and bought a one way ticket to India. That was kind of where the search for passion and purpose started.

Moustafa [00:02:34]:

And on my journey in India, I met a swami who was in caves for 13 years. It's one of those movie situations, really. Like, I never knew it was a coincidence. Universal alignment. And he asked me a question. I was asking him about, you know, meaning of life and this and that. I found somebody who can give me an answer. And he used to play with his beard, and he went to me, he goes, do you know what you are thirsty for? Because if you do not know what you are thirsty for, you cannot quench your thirst.

Moustafa [00:03:05]:

And that was the aha moment for me to go, okay, what am I actually looking for? And it was. I was looking for purpose in my life. That was really what was missing.

Andrea [00:03:14]:

Right. So that is a great way of framing the entire conversation we're gonna have today. You know, you mentioned already looking for yourself. The purpose, the experiences that you have around the globe with different people, different contexts, has really allowed you to see things probably in a different way. So I'm curious how your mindset has changed since after that. You know, you mentioned a massive transformation for yourself and looking for purpose, understanding the quest for purpose. What has been a different approach that you feel changed in the way how you think, essentially.

Moustafa [00:03:47]:

Beautiful question. I would say fast forward maybe almost about ten years from this journey. So what happened is I came back, started delivering inspirational talks about what I just told you, but told on stage with all the beautiful drama and stage performance, and people would walk up to me and say, you changed my life. And I realized that this is the purpose that I have, is to be able to have impact on people's lives. I got into speaking from speaking. I got into coaching from coaching. I wrote a book. I wrote a second book.

Moustafa [00:04:13]:

And along that journey, I developed content. So I published my first book, which is called Live passionately, to help people find their passion and purpose without needing to buy a one way ticket to India and then open a publishing business, 130 authors. And along the way, life throws us a curveball, because once we think, oh, we're there, I made it. I end up going through a very challenging divorce. I think most are. And I moved countries looking for a fresh start. And I moved to Australia. This was the 20 March 2020 beautiful time to move countries, because I ended up landing in Melbourne, which became one of the most locked down cities in the world.

Moustafa [00:04:50]:

Right. Two days before the lockdown and the pandemic. So I find myself alone, out of a divorce, into a new country no friends, no family, nobody to talk to, and no ability to connect with any humans outside the four walls that I was locked in. And next thing I know is I started getting a bit more depressed. And, you know, life was looking really gloomy for everybody, not just for me. And then my father catches COVID in Dubai, and I wasn't able to get exemption to leave the country early enough to see him. And I haven't seen him for a few years, so he passed away later that year. My mom gets a brain stroke.

Moustafa [00:05:20]:

So with all of that, my mindset was being challenged because it's very easy to pre and tell stories. But then when life hits is when you got to walk the talk. And this is how I found myself sitting one day. And I remember literally, like, sitting and going, oh, me, this, that. And then suddenly a voice in my head went, practice what you preach. Easy. Just practice what you preach. And I'm like, hmm, I gotta go.

Moustafa [00:05:42]:

Digging in me first for my answers. And I remembered that I had developed some frameworks in the earlier years for mindset mastery. And that framework ended up being reformatted and rewritten to work on my own mindset, healing my past and working on my mindset. And then that became slingshot, my latest best selling book.

Andrea [00:06:00]:

Yeah. So let's dig a little bit more into this because it's fascinating, because I had a very similar experience in the past, a very different context, very different situation. But I'm one of those guys that I have experienced quite, how can I say this? Quite a good level of success in my career. So it's been a fast track career since early days. And then, you know, when you feel that, I wouldn't say untouchable, but by everything that you do is just working, so things really happening as if, you know, your stars are aligned, so you start losing focus on learning, on, discover yourself, on what potentially go wrong, because you are more into that sort of snowball effect. Everything is working in your life. Then, as of course, happens to everyone, something bad happened from a career professional standpoint. And then I needed to start from scratch.

Andrea [00:06:48]:

Starting from scratch, to me was a massive mindset shift, because at the beginning I forced myself. That was not true. It was not possible. It was just not possible, you know, and you start blaming everyone and others in terms of the circumstances because you feel, well, it's them, it's not me. I mean, now, Ken, you know, I'm perfect, you know, I'm the right person, etcetera. Until then, really through a very deep self discovery, I realized that it was actually all about me. And I did not face myself until the point. And then everything changed because I started to approach myself and thinking about myself in a very different way, I started to embrace humility, being more myself, be vulnerable.

Andrea [00:07:26]:

And then I went back to my, you know, to my success journey. So, to me, when something happens, you know, you have two choices. Either you disregard it and you keep, you know, working hard and thinking, it's them, it's the context, it's outside work, not me, or give a massive shift for, you know, in yourself. It sounds like you have been through a similar journey under different circumstances, but I think there was a. In other words, is it the self discovery, is the awareness, discovery, reflection about yourself that change completely way you think about yourself?

Moustafa [00:07:56]:

Yeah, beautifully, beautifully said, andrea, because the reality is, Mike Tyson has a beautiful saying, everybody's got a plan until they're punched in the face. So reality is, we all think we are there until the universe decides to humble us. If we don't recognize that by ourself to go, don't think you're bigger than what you think you are, because, you know, universe is grandiose, much bigger than we, if you think about it perspectively. One of the things I love about being on the road is I'm all the time looking at the sky. You know, when you're out in the middle of nowhere and you look at the sky and you see a carpet of stars, and suddenly a realization hits me. And every time it does, it never stops to. I just get tears in my eyes. It's like, there's me, there's this van, there is this little countryside that I'm in.

Moustafa [00:08:45]:

There's this Victoria Melbourne, and then there's Australia, and there's this whole planet. All of this is smaller than the smallest star. I'm looking up on the sky and that these things give us perspective. It's contrast. We need contrast in life to see things. And when we don't see it, universe will present it to us in one way. If we don't get the lesson, it goes around and comes back in another way and another way until we get the lesson. So, you know, when my guru in the caves, when I used to ask him, I'd ask him a question, and he'd give me an answer.

Moustafa [00:09:16]:

He'd say, whatever the answer is. And let's say I didn't like the answer if the answer was, , you got to stop doing this. And I'm like, then I reframe the question. Typical corporate skill. We can reframe a question and ask the same question again. And he looked at me and goes, hmm, not understand. Repeat. So the universe operates in that way.

Moustafa [00:09:36]:

It sends us a message. We don't understand it. It will do. Repeat the pattern, and we find ourselves in those repeated patterns, and then we start pointing fingers at everybody until really we have that moment of courage when we look in the mirror and go, you know what? It's this way, not that way. Only then the mental shift happens. Otherwise it's going to be just repeated, repeated pattern, and it gets worse over time.

Andrea [00:09:58]:

Yeah, it's a very good point. So talk us through, you know, your book. So what was the need for you to write a new book about mindset?

Moustafa [00:10:05]:

So, the story that I just told you, particularly around slingshot, which was my own story of having to walk the talk, and I needed a tool that can help me get over my challenges. And another flip side of that, which is interesting, is the whole, the whole self help industry. When I started on my journey needing to find my own purpose, 2008 to 2012, till I bought the one way ticket, I was just munching on every course, every program, everybody that promises you the sun and the moon and the sky. And especially back in those days when executive coaching was single minded about, it's the triple a personality, go, go, go. You decide your destiny. You make everything happen. And I did that for a few years, but unfortunately, there was points that I would just not be able to break through. I work with the best coaches.

Moustafa [00:10:50]:

I do my best, and I get somewhere and I'm stuck. And it's not a glass ceiling, because if it was a glass ceiling, I would break through it. I'm very willed, but I'm just doing something, and it feels like an invisible rubber band. I keep running, running, running somewhere, and suddenly there's a snap back and I go, and I'm like, again, keep going. But there's a point where I'm like, dude, I really cannot deny that there's some feelings inside me that I cannot explain. Some anger, some emotions, something oppressed. So I'm going to go to the healing space. So I go to the healing space, and I end up spending a lot of time and money in retreat after retreat regression, crying, laughter, reflection.

Moustafa [00:11:25]:

And then it was like digging a hole. The deeper you dig, the deeper you go, and then you can never climb out of it because after every workshop, I'd come out feeling more broken because I thought I had one problem. I fixed it, but I realized I've got ten more under it. And then one layer after the other. And then I'm like, no, no, no. This just doesn't work because every party benefits from keeping you hooked on the product. Yeah. The healing benefits from you coming back for more and more and more, and the motivational life coaching, whatever it is, go, go, go.

Moustafa [00:11:54]:

And you keep swinging from here to there, from here to there. And one day I'm like, hold on. Maybe the solution is not neither nor, it's both together. So we have to take a step back, deal with past issues, but only enough to release that specific trauma or drama or story, untangle it, but then release that so we can slingshot into the future by using mindset mastery techniques. So it's a balanced approach of healing and mindset mastery combined in a way that allows us to just clear and move rather than get stuck in either of them.

Andrea [00:12:30]:

Yeah, that's great. That's powerful, and I like it. So if we translate this into the business world, right? So, you know, personal level is critical, and I think that is probably the place where we can learn the most for ourselves and then potentially to share with others. If we look at the executives, especially senior executives, in the business world, right? So these leaders, they have, they're facing right now an incredible amount of challenges due to, you know, higher level of uncertainty, market dynamics that are changing every single day. They need to change and transform their organization, you know, every year, every tune now, which is crazy. And, you know, and all the element of how the pressure, the stress is impacting their mental health, which is a problem, real problem right now in the business world. How do you think what you learn potentially can be applied, you know, for them? So they can. They can probably see something different right now.

Moustafa [00:13:26]:

Beautiful question, Andrea. And the reality, this is exactly what the journey of slingshot is about. So it's back to the fact of do not trying to ignore reality. The universe will put it back in your face. You can. If there is some sort of an emotion or a feeling that you need to feel, typically, corporate world doesn't like to talk about that. If you try when you're doing executive coaching, typically, they don't like what they label as airy fairy stuff. You know, it's feelings and emotions and let's all go, go, go.

Moustafa [00:13:56]:

Yeah, you can do this. That's not real because we are human beings. You cannot leave your problems at home. You cannot leave if there's something eating you up. We know that the subconscious mind occupies a lot more than the conscious mind. It's a small percentage of what you're doing consciously. And so far, all the coaching has been talking about the conscious stuff, the conscious stuff, the conscious stuff, the subconscious stuff rules it, whether you like it or not. It's like, you know, you just will keep going around, it will find a way.

Moustafa [00:14:22]:

So the reality is, it's important for every executive to honor that element and be honest in. Doctor Marshall Goldsmith calls it courage, which is pretty much to have the courage not to face a challenge, to face yourself in the mirror. And if you have a challenge, then the second thing is humility, which is to put your hands up and say, look, I need help. I think I'm struggling mentally, I'm about to get a nervous breakdown, I can't handle it, and I need to tackle the emotions, not let's forget about it and let's go only to the corporate. And we've seen that repeatedly. I can't remember which year, but it was in the last five to seven years. The global CEO of BMW collapsed on stage while doing a launch event. Now imagine what this did to the stock price of the company.

Moustafa [00:15:08]:

When the leader collapses from gets, it gets a brain stroke on stage in front of everybody because of all the pressure. We build up walls and barriers and everything. It's not good for our own mental health. And the second thing, there's a value for the company, because today you want empathetic leaders, leaders that are genuinely able to connect and feel and be intuitive, because the dynamics of how the world is shifting are totally different. In the past, we were dealing with a textbook for the last 20, 30, 40 years, since the industrial revolution. Even up until the last 1020 years, where Internet started to change, it was pretty straightforward. You knew what you were dealing with, at least for a decade. The dynamics didn't change much.

Moustafa [00:15:46]:

You just look at how the dynamics changed in the last ten years. 1020 years, it's crazy. I used to handle pr for Nokia. In a span of a short period of a decade, we went from Nokia being number one to be overtaken by BlackBerry, BlackBerry becoming number one to be overtaken by Nokia, sorry, by Apple. Apple becomes a number one until it gets diversified into androids and diversity of androids, and then now it's being taken out by new companies that are having wearables and things you can clip on. This is happening in a crazy short period, and that's going to be really fast. And it's very, very important to become more intuitive. And you cannot be more intuitive if you're operating from the mind, because the mind operates on pre existing softwares.

Moustafa [00:16:29]:

While intuition operates on much deeper level than that.

Andrea [00:16:34]:

Yeah, yeah. So, look, it's brilliant. And, you know, reflection, what you said in terms of. So I think the first part, when you said about what is the impact of not being yourself, not being humble, I think is a twofold. So one is, you know, as we said, one is the personal relationship that you have with yourself, your role and what you're doing, the challenge that you're facing. And the second is the external world. Right? So, as you say, you know, the market understands either, you know, with the factual event as the one that you, you brought to the conversation, or even us, you know, you. They feel, the market feels when there's so much pressure and stress in the executive, they can deal it.

Andrea [00:17:09]:

I think in my personal experience, I think the real challenge is for most of the executives is, as you said, is be vulnerable and declare at least to themselves, they are facing a problem. So they can deal with that problem, because otherwise it's just, you know, trying to fake it, faking, because you feel, you know, if you are human and if you are yourself and you show your emotions to yourself and to the others, you know, that is a sign of weakness. And I think there is this misconception about sharing. Vulnerability is weakness. So. And I guess that's something that you are pointing to.

Moustafa [00:17:43]:

100% agreed. The reality is, in the past, the role of a leader was to actually know everything. In the past, if you had a question, you go to the CEO that the leader was the final destination for any piece of information. This changed with the introduction of Google, because Google knows everything, not the CEO. Anything you want to ask? There's some sort of a tech piece somewhere that has data and data analytics. The role of a leader is no longer to be that all knowing, omnipresent, omnipotent person is the total opposite. It's about shared leadership, where the leader has to now acknowledge that the. The layers that work in collaboration, the CXO layer and the director layer, are the actual, the guys that are doing all the work.

Moustafa [00:18:24]:

And their input is a lot more valuable. And in that context, a leader's role, in my opinion, is a decision making machine. Okay. And a decision to make decision, you have to be able to consider all the inputs and all the variables. And a lot of times this is not a scientific process. As much as I make it sound scientific, a lot of that, that's a hunch or an intuition. And you will notice most successful people around the world talk a lot about these things. They talk about the.

Moustafa [00:18:51]:

They had a feeling they had an intuition. Intuition is actually a process of thinking, but it's a subconscious thinking. When you've had that gut feeling, what is a gut feeling? There's millions and billions of neurons that are connected, and then it's processing information beyond your mental capacity at that moment consciously. And it gives you. I'm like, yes, I know statistics say that, but we need to go there. And a lot of times this is what works well only for leaders that have dealt with all their emotional trauma. But if they have not, what happens is they mentally think they're in control, but there's something boiling under and it ruins the mathematical formula because it's a one plus one multiplied by x multiplied by y. But if there's a z somewhere that is hidden, no matter how many times you type in the numbers, the final formula has something that's changing the outcome.

Andrea [00:19:40]:

Yeah, so most of I have a question which is, I think it's a burning question for everyone and also for us, you know, work as coaching them during these times. The typical question that people have is, okay, how can I change the mindset? Okay, I agree, I need to see things a different way. I need to face, you know, my own emotions. I have to deal with that. I agree. I need to be, you know, much more humble and recognized patterns, etc. That happening. But as we know, there are people, they say, well, you know, I recognize, you know, I have fears, I recognize I have challenges about my own behaviors.

Andrea [00:20:16]:

I recognize and, you know, that have a very low attitude to risk. I recognize a lot of things about myself, which is already a good starting point. Right? Because awareness is the starting point of everything. But then what is, in your experience, something that can really unlock people to start seeing things in different way, to change the frame of reference, as I say. So what is the most. I know it's a very difficult question, but what is, in your experience, the most successful way to help people to see something about themselves, about the situation they are not seeing at the moment?

Moustafa [00:20:48]:

Beautifully framed question. And yes, it is the million dollar question, as you're saying, it's not a straightforward answer. However, part of what I am doing my best through slingshot the book is actually provide a framework to do that, or at least to start the process in that right direction and to give you a summary of that whole process, as I mentioned, is two stages. Stage one is healing the past, because if you don't, if you don't clear the ground, then you cannot mind do mindset mastery. I've seen that so many times. Then it becomes a mental process, and it's short lived because at the time when I'm there, I'm on stage, I'm coaching. Everything is great. You leave the.

Moustafa [00:21:23]:

The coachee or the client for a while, you come back, and they're back to the same pattern. They go and come back and go and come back. And this is where you have to park a little bit of the mindset mastery, and take a step back. And the best way to do that is actually, I ask people a question. I say, if your life was a movie, what genre would it be? Okay, so start thinking. Reflect on your life, and you can contextualize that in a corporate world. So you might say, listen, I don't want to do that in your life since birth. That's not my scope of work here.

Moustafa [00:21:51]:

But as a CEO in your corporate career, if your corporate career life was a movie, what genre would it be? So first, let them have a big picture approach on it. My life is XYZ. The next step would be put a name to that movie. Okay, so now you've got a genre, and you zoom in and go, this is the name of the movie. And then I get them to actually journal a little bit of that story. My life is because, XYz, I'll give you an example of myself. Happy to open up here at a point of time similar to your story, where you were on top of your career and everything crashed, and you started pointing fingers at everybody. I was there one time, and I remember I used to go sit in Dubai on the beach at the sunset, reflecting and going, and I literally heard the voice in my head.

Moustafa [00:22:38]:

The genre of my movie is a sad drama of a guy who could have been the best thing in the world and then crashed. And then the movie theme in my head was dreams broken on the shores of reality. This is true story, okay? This is me. I own up to the situation I'm in. And the story was, oh, I failed because I never got good education. I started looking for reasons of why I failed. Oh, because my father never sent me to a proper university. Oh, because I didn't do this.

Moustafa [00:23:05]:

Because I didn't do that. And all of these stories, story, people, culture, my nationality, my English, my, my, my. I wrote all of that story. Fine. Years come, and I go through this process, and I go, okay, what's actually. What do I have to do? Actually, today, I look at my life as an adventure. So then the movie genre shifted from a drama which is looking at the low point only into realizing that a roller coaster ride has ups and downs. And this was only a low that gives me the power to go up again.

Moustafa [00:23:31]:

Because after that is when I bought my one way ticket to India and I became a speaker and a coach. And then I got my to my new peak. And guess what? There's another crash that's bound to come. So in that cycle, then the answer is the movie becomes the genre becomes an adventure. And the title of my life movie is life to die for. So suddenly the perspective change here goes like, huh, it's just about reframing. That's the summary of everything we do with mindset is first write. But first you have to write that story with as ugly and as depressed and honor the feelings and then rewrite that story.

Moustafa [00:24:10]:

Of course, the book goes into details. There's a lot of steps along the way, but that's the simplest way I could benefit somebody to go, okay, here's a quick exercise I could do and reframe that story.

Andrea [00:24:18]:

Yeah, powerful. And I think we are so much aligning the way how you have to do it. A couple of take away from me is one is you mentioned you have to deal with the past, healing with the past before moving forward, which, by the way, is a perfect framework for everything that happens as well in organizations about change. One of the most important theories out there, I always forgot the author, is the three stages of changes that applies to personal as well as organizational level. So you need to get rid of the past first. Then you live in this neutral transition time when you're still having the past. There you see the future, but you're still vigilant, waiting and trying to figure out what you need to do. And then it's really when you start going to the final stage, when you're up to the change, you're ready for change and you're making things happen.

Andrea [00:25:07]:

So that really reminds me as well that the element and the second part about reframing is, as I always say, you mentioned movie. Great analogy. I always say it's all about narrative. It's a narrative. So what you say to yourself, what you said, what you think you are, it's just a narrative. It's just a narrative that you have created in ears, and you accept it for a number of good reasons. So the question is, if you're not happy anymore with that narrative, just change the narrative. I know it sounds extremely easy, but that is essentially a way to reframing, starting with a different image picture about the future that you want for yourself, which could be a book, a writing a narrative a movie as you just display.

Moustafa [00:25:52]:

Yeah, I love what you just mentioned also in the first point about the period or the transition stages. So I talk in my book about a fact that the temporary identity crisis is a necessary part of change, and that's something people are not comfortable with. I was in nightlife and events, and today I'm a speaker, coach, and author. I don't know if they're even 180 degree shift. It's a matrix quantum leap. It's got nothing like they're totally distinct, different. But there was no way for me to go from here to here immediately. I had to go from here into nothingness, and from nothingness, rebuild everything.

Moustafa [00:26:25]:

And the best example I use is a caterpillar to butterfly. So caterpillar is a creature that moves slow and moves on earth, while a butterfly has wings and moves faster and flies in between. The caterpillar has to go into a cocoon, and there's momentarily death of an actual creature that used to walk and perform in a certain way into a totally different creature. That is the scariest. And where people fail away because they get stuck in their pattern, because they go and like, no, no, no, I want to go back to being a caterpillar, but if actually people let go of being a caterpillar, they would be able to spread their wings and fly. And that's the temporary identity crisis.

Andrea [00:27:03]:

Yeah, it's brilliant. It's a perfect metaphor, and the butterfly example is perfect for that. All right, great. So let's shift a little bit here on something that I know that you are that's important to you, and I think it's important to everyone. And sometimes I think we just miss it because we are so much busy in what we are doing, essentially, is the element of passion. So you. You wrote about, you spoke about passion and something that is critical for, you know, as a purpose, but also critical then to keep you alive, really. So what's your view about passion? So, I mean, we know the definition of passion, but I'm interesting to understand what is your angle about passion.

Moustafa [00:27:42]:

Thank you very much. And that's where my journey started. So that will always be the dearest to my heart. Think of it like a first child. That's the base of everything I do, is around passion. At the end of the day, there is no mindset, mastery or healing past or whatever, unless you're truly ignited with passion. My research for a few years, the early stages, so between, say, 22,008 till 2012, 2013, was me just researching randomly. And then from 2013, it was professionally researching and interviewing and podcasting on one word, passion.

Moustafa [00:28:10]:

I've done about 160 interviews face to face, talking to people about one question, what does passion really mean to you? And my learning was the word passion is like the word love is very misconceived. When somebody says to somebody, I love you, what does that mean? I love you for one night. I love you forever. I love you for a purpose, because you're benefiting me for money or for whatever it is. It's very vague. It's very utilized. In many ways, passion is the same. The passion, the definition of the dictionary is any powerful or compelling feeling, okay? So that naturally means passion is doing what you love.

Moustafa [00:28:44]:

As I started doing interviews, it was a discussion with Brian Tracy, and he said to me, you're never going to be passionate about something unless you're really good at it. So then the definition of passion, because it makes sense. Think of it. If I get on stage and every time I want to be a singer and every time I want to sing, I sound like a goat, people are going to boo me. And if I'm not getting better at it, I'm going to lose that passion and that drive. So then the definition of passion became doing what you love and what you are good at. And as I was doing that, I interviewed von Strompenars. He wrote the riding the waves of culture.

Moustafa [00:29:17]:

He's the foremost, number one authority on the corporate culture in the world. And he said to me, be careful because the wrong kind of passion can hurt the world. I was like, what do you mean wrong kind of passion can hurt the world? I am mister passion, and I talk about old passion topics, and passion is all good. He was really, think about Hitler. He was doing what he loved and he was really good at it. We're not here to judge if it was good in the absolute, but performance wise, he was good at being whatever he was, but it was not good for the world. So then the definition of passion became doing what you love and doing what you're good at and is of value to the world. So it's not just personal.

Moustafa [00:29:57]:

It has to has, it has to have a purpose element back to the purpose conversation. And then over time, I would do all these inspirational talks and I do passion, you know, doing what you love, what you're good at, and is a value to the world. Six months later, I come back and I see people from the same company. I'm like, oh, so how's the passion going? They're like, oh, a passion. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, okay. Yeah, we feel forgot about. I'm.

Moustafa [00:30:15]:

No, no, it doesn't work. That something has to work better. And I remembered my days in Nokia where, okay, Nokia was the best at what they did. They were doing what they're good at, a value to the world. But then BlackBerry came over and then Apple came over and then Android came over. So the question was, what was the missing element that made passion truly different? Is consistency true passion? True passion is consistently doing what you love, what you're good at, and is a value to the world. That is really what in my world and in my book, what this thinks, true passion, you can call it passion, but then maybe it's a hobby, it's a casual thing, it's something you do on the side, it's something you do for fun. But true passion has to be consistently doing what you love, what you're good at, and is a value to the world.

Moustafa [00:31:04]:

And here's the interesting part. Do you know where the word passion comes from? It comes from latin passio. And passio means to suffer and endure. Think passion of the Christ. Is it passionate? So. So that it's the endurance towards something. You bring passion to life with your endurance and your consistency. So whether it's linguistically, whether, through my research, whether you read Ikigai, all the research I've done has pointed back to the arrow that consistency is the magic formula that this thinks truly passionate people.

Moustafa [00:31:37]:

Very easy to say. I'm passionate about something at the beginning. The marathon is not at the beginning of the race, it's at the finish line. So the real race happens in the last end of it, at the last quarter, not at the beginning of the race. So everybody says I'm passionate at the beginning, but the true passionate ones are the ones that finish the race.

Andrea [00:31:55]:

Yeah. You know, which I think in the real world. And, you know that we lose motivation so often. So passion, because based on the definition that you gave, which, by the way, I love, it, is more about endurance, it's more about consistency, it's more about keep doing it. But most importantly, you know, you have to be a value for the world. It's not just for yourself, has to be, in other words, a bigger purpose. You know, that whatever you're doing in order to spark the level of passion, which I think is a different level than the traditional passion that we feel about, you know, playing football or, you know, whatever, you know, reading or whatever. Right.

Moustafa [00:32:32]:

I like it.

Andrea [00:32:32]:

I like that it sounds like it's just a different level. It's a different level of an application of a definition of passion that really creates value to the society, which I think is very important, especially right now with all those leaders, they're facing the challenge about profit and purpose. So it's just about money, it's just about the shareholder. Or there is more. There is a why do I need to create for our organization, which is I'm very advocate about, is creating the why? Because I think that why will definitely create that sort of passion motivation that.

Moustafa [00:33:06]:

You just spoke about 100%. And it's beyond just making it as a gimmick, because the whole vision, mission, all of that has always been there. But it was just a document on the wall. It came from here, back to the conversation about coming from here. When we come from a place of genuinity and truth. And if a company doesn't care about it, they don't care about it. Then be honest. Say we are in this because of XYZ, but today with the millennial workforce, and as you know, the generations are coming in, statistically speaking, people don't care about the job anymore.

Moustafa [00:33:36]:

And if anything, COVID has pushed the conversation over to the other end of it because it was slower at the beginning, people were scared, and now everybody realized, hold on, I actually don't even need to show up to the office. I can work from home. And it's becoming now some companies are mandating few work from home days. And I know there's a big debate out there. It's not concluded, but that says that, hold on. If I can be from home, that means I could work for different companies. I'm no longer stuck in the same office. I could be working for this company and for that company.

Moustafa [00:34:02]:

And apples to apples, the employee themselves now have a choice as much as the company. Because if you don't want my talent, I'd rather work. You pay me a dollar, they pay me a dollar, but they have purpose. I'd rather work for them. This is what's really happening now.

Andrea [00:34:16]:

Yeah. So is it then fair to say that to drive so, you know, on an organizational level, I think it's primarily a job of the CEO. The leaders, too, create a sense of purpose, to create a sense of passion by exactly doing what you described. That is a great parallelism for leaders on a personal level, though, right? So we all facing a similar problem is the fact of keeping the passion live, as we always say, keeping the motivation alive. So most of the work that we do, yes, it could be connected to a value to the world to some extent. Right? But probably sometimes it bogged down more into tactical elements. How can we keep the passion when we do things that don't necessarily have such a strong correlation to the world? Or maybe there is, but we don't see it. How do you play with it? Because at the end of the day, we need to stay consistent ourselves, right.

Andrea [00:35:10]:

To keep the passion in the work that we do.

Moustafa [00:35:12]:

Beautiful, beautiful question that requires a deep answer. So allow me here to kind of answer it in stages. First, you got to really know if what you're pursuing means a lot to you. And this is the bigger problem. When you are pursuing something and you're not sure that this is it for you or this is worth pursuing, at least for this stage, then you're operating from here and there's only so much you're going to do. Remember, passion is about consistency. And if you keep falling off the bandwagon but coming back to it. So one of the questions I ask in my first book, live passionately.

Moustafa [00:35:42]:

I ask 40 deep dive questions to help people dig into their deep passion. One of them, what is it that you fail at but keep coming back to? That's an interesting way to look at it, because if you fail at it but come back to it again and again and again, there's something there that's calling you, which is you're on a journey of becoming better. You're not there yet, but that's the pursuit of greatness and pursuit of passion. And you are consistent. So that's a sign of consistency. However, to give, I'll give two questions. I'll give one for now to help anybody listening to this, to actually dive deep into that passion and purpose of theirs. Okay, so everybody's got a checkbook.

Moustafa [00:36:15]:

So if you've got, if you're not driving, please pull out your checkbook. Andrea, if you've got a pen and paper, please entertain me here. Write down, like a quick drawing of a check and write down, address the check to yourself. Okay. So to Andrea, and then spell your name out there. Put today's date here. It's Monday, the 12 February. And then in the amount, put $1 billion, not million, billion, nine zeros, one, comma, triple zero, comma, triple zero, comma, triple zero.

Moustafa [00:36:47]:

And then sign it. That's everybody listening now. Everybody's got a check in their hand for a billion dollars. Look at it like this. It's a check for a billion dollars. Kiss it, fold it, put it close to your heart, and for a moment really live the reality that you could have a billion dollars in your pocket. You no longer have financial worries. You have no problems with job.

Moustafa [00:37:09]:

You don't have to work for money. Your family, mom, dad, children, cousins, everybody you want and love in life is taken care of forever. A billion dollars is a lot of money for everybody. What would you do with your life now? Would you still be doing what you're doing?

Andrea [00:37:25]:

If I can answer, I probably would say part of the things I do, probably will stop doing. Other things I do, I will keep doing.

Moustafa [00:37:33]:

Yeah, great. So basically your answer is pretty much similar to most people's answers. A lot of times I get a normal distribution curve. On one end of the spectrum, some people say, I will continue 100% of what I'm doing. That's great. Do more of it. And other end of the spectrum is, no way I will just quit my job or I'll quit work or whatever. And most people are like, okay, part I will continue, part not.

Moustafa [00:37:54]:

So the thing is, I would say for those who are on the end of the spectrum of I'm not doing anything that I would do if I had the money, and I wouldn't do it for the money. My answer is, if you cannot, nobody can. If you cannot guarantee living another day, you cannot guarantee living another hour, then you're wasting your life. And when you recognize your highest value, most, most important asset in your life is your time, that's the one thing you cannot buy back. You can buy back money you can make. You can win a billion dollars. You cannot win a single day. I want a day back to see my dad.

Moustafa [00:38:22]:

I can't. It's over. So when you realize that, you will start taking, you and everybody listening will start taking action towards a better life that is more meaningful and purposeful. So what you do in your answer where you're like, okay, part I would, part I would not. The next question you want to ask, how can I move closer to do more of what I like and less of what I don't like, more of what I like and less of what I don't like. So this is a journey. In my experience, that takes about three to five years. The problem is people go like, oh, now I found it.

Moustafa [00:38:54]:

I want it to happen tomorrow. It doesn't happen this way. You plant a seed today, the tree doesn't come tomorrow. Nature has to take its course also because you suddenly change your mind. Universe needs time to realign and the stars align and things to happen. And even you find another job or build a new business and learn a new skill. I'm sure you experienced that when you were on peak and then you had a crash. The rise again, did not happen overnight.

Moustafa [00:39:16]:

It's a journey that you got to earn, because also, if you don't earn it, you don't enjoy it. So it's part of you got to earn it and build it and earn it and build it. So the answer for anybody who answered this question and goes, oh, partially yes. Partially no. Beautiful. Partially yes. Focus more on it, partially no. Start minimizing that either by letting go of it if you can, or subcontracting it if you can.

Moustafa [00:39:39]:

So if you're in business, what you want to start doing is start finding suppliers or partners or team members that enjoy doing what you don't enjoy doing. So they make a living from it and they're happy doing what they're doing and you do less of that. And every hour you're just trading your hour. Think of it like a currency exchange. You want to change a dollar at the highest exchange rate. You want to change your. Your dollar is your hour of life for the highest value of passion and purpose and enjoyment and everything else that comes with it. So you keep asking yourself, what I'm doing now, is that a value for me? Yes.

Moustafa [00:40:11]:

Great. No, give it to someone else and then keep doing that. Keep doing that until you can keep trading up. But give yourself also three to five years for that journey.

Andrea [00:40:19]:

Yeah, that's brilliant. And that's the power delegation done properly, by the way. So, very useful tip. So, , that was an amazing conversation. I have only the last quick q and a for you, so 30 seconds question, 30 seconds. Maximum answer to you. So, as a recap, what do you think has been the most important learning across all your entire story career. And I know that there have been so many learnings, but if you have to pick one, what would it be?

Moustafa [00:40:46]:

Reminding myself that I could die any moment and unless I'm living a passionate life, then I'm really wasting my most valuable asset.

Andrea [00:40:57]:

Yeah, brilliant. I love that. That's a very good way of approaching life. On the other hand, is there anything that you regretted for in the past?

Moustafa [00:41:05]:

My learning here is that most of my and other people's regrets are for the things that we did not do rather than the things that we did. Anything that you did, you probably, over time, forget about and life moves on. But the regret of I did not do this is bigger. So always ask yourself, what would I regret not doing? It's better to do it and be wrong and not do it and regret because you won't have the second chance to do it again sometimes.

Andrea [00:41:32]:

Yeah, I love that. Great look, you're a book author. You are a publishing as well, entrepreneur. So before getting to your books. So is there one single book that has made a huge impact on your life?

Moustafa [00:41:44]:

Beautiful question for me. I believe all our industry, whether it's coaching, healing, whatever it is, we all owe it to one person and one book. Napoleon Hill. Think and grow rich. And I think I would boldly say anybody who claims otherwise is making up stories or doesn't know what they're talking about. Because if you trace the history of the whole growth industry goes back to that one person and that one book, unless you start moving into the philosophical book, but that think and grow rich to be. And I know it looks like it's about money, but it's got nothing to do with that. It's really about how to become an old school, rock solid gold person on inside and outside.

Andrea [00:42:20]:

Yeah. It's a mindset book, by the way. So it's not necessarily, not definitely financial.

Moustafa [00:42:25]:


Andrea [00:42:25]:

Wonderful. So , so remind us what is your latest book and tell us where people should go if they want to find out more about you.

Moustafa [00:42:32]:

My latest book is Slingshot, how to become a master of your destiny, not a victim of your history. And I'm grateful to you for the opportunity. So I would love to also offer your listeners an opportunity to get a sneak preview to it. If people go to slingshot, is spelled slingshot. Like the slingshot, they will be able to go onto a landing page that explains more about the book. But also there's a form there that they can fill. If they bought the book, they would usually put a code and they would get access to an e copy of the book and a lot of other bonuses like a meditation that I use there and some exercise posters and things like that. I would love to give that as a gift to all your listeners.

Moustafa [00:43:14]:

All they have to do is when they go to that page, they would enter the code Andrea and that would allow them the access. So they put name email and put Andrea and they'll be able to access that bonus. So slingshot.

Andrea [00:43:26]:

That's awesome. So very generous from you. So, , thank you so much for being on the show. It's not so common to talk about mindset passion in the way that we did. So I appreciate the time that you spend with me today.

Moustafa [00:43:38]:

Thank you, Andrea, it's been an amazing interview and I love the fact that you genuinely were challenging me and diving deep into every angle and bringing also your point of view to it. So very grateful for the interview. Thank you very much. Our channel.

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Moustafa Hamwi - Keynote Speaker, Coach, Author