In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can…

Abdul Sattar Edhi, stature of Pakistan’s greatest philanthropist, was not a supernatural or an angel but a common man. He was amongst us who stayed firm to his roots and taught people a better way to live through his actions and dedications. All over his life, he set examples for the world to follow, even a single word uttered by him make a huge impact on people. He faced poverty, lack of resources and odds like many of us do but did not bow down or recede from challenges; whenever he was confronted by a choice he took a principled stance and this was what made Edhi stand out from everyone else.

I was reading lines from his biography where he said “I spoke to students about self –reliance and personal ability, “Give up dependence on other man at least for that which you can perform for yourself. Or are you crippled?” Why I am quoting only these lines because I also believe that reliance on others can leave you without your own sense of purpose or direction and impedes your chances of achieving any goals you may have set. Such inertia and dearth of determination can defeat the point of having made a decision in the first place. Indeed, many times people decide to do things that they never follow through on. But being determined to follow through on your decisions can help being your own person.

I remember the time when I applied for Fulbright exchange scholarship program and got the interview call, I faced a difficult time as everyone used to say, “what will you do going out there in America”, “you are a girl, you shouldn’t go there as you won’t be able to protect yourself” etc. I also got a bitter remark from a biased teacher who had recommended his favorite student but she didn’t get a call, he said during his class, “I don’t understand why they selected you but not her” and that one remark was more than enough to discourage anyone standing there.

Despite all this, I didn’t lose hope and what my answer to everyone was that “I have firmness and self-control to hold to my decision, I am not dependent on others to make my way, I have self-confidence that I can do it”. Then I made the interview, got the scholarship and successfully completed the program and I think that was the best answer to everyone.

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. (Norman Vincent Peale)