Disclosures & Disclaimers

  • Personal development is my passion, not yet a full-time profession and I am not a certified or affiliated life coach - I wear the management consultant hat to pay the bills.

  • I am not a motivational speaker, more of a life-lessons sharer!

  • I can't turn your life around - with a steady mindset, dedication and perseverance, you most likely can and will, I am sure.

  • I leverage my personal experiences in much of my advice, which may run the risk of generalizing issues for some.

  • I am not a mental health professional or clinician - I do not give advice on any medication or medical diagnosis of any kind - only trained and licensed professionals can and should.

  • Over last 5+ years, I have taught personal development at universities, spoken to 4,000+ students and professionals regarding this topic and mentored 100+ young men and women but that does not make me a self-help 'guru' or life-hacker - I am absolutely fair game for criticism (at times I wonder if Shakespeare and Euripides co-authored my life's script and perhaps that led me to my life-advice-giving credentials).
  • I don't make any promises to anyone and only operate on a best-effort-basis, i.e. I will give my best to help you. In case my best is not good enough, I would only request you to share your detailed constructive feedback so I can address my blind spots. This way I may make my best, better.

“‎Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning... Anyone can start over and make a new ending.” ~Chico Xavier

Coming full circle

I was born and grew up in Pakistan with a couple of years spent in Saudi Arabia. In 1995 took off  for the US to complete BSEE and MBA, following which, I had the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 companies and on Wall Street. Later, spent a few more years in the Middle East, returning home to Pakistan in 2015 - i.e. 20 years later.

 

During this time got married and have been blessed with a son. A short while afterwards, when global economy started nosediving, my personal world began collapsing simultaneously - faced a litigation-filled and financially draining period of going through a divorce, dealing with child custody and fallout from a family fund meltdown. After settling all matters, I returned to Pakistan and started rebuilding my life once again - this time wiser but far more scared.

At that point I had lost everything I had worked for over 20 years but still had my son and select family members. I say select because every gyration of fate somehow always filters out the real from the faux. Today, after 5+ years, I have walked a long walk from the 'crash site', healed some, built back some, laughed and cried some, lost some gems along the way and found new treasures, and most importantly still blessed to be living life to my fullest - a statistician would run the numbers and tell you I didn't stand a chance of getting through back-to-back-to-back traumas but I did. 

To give my full circle journey a purpose, my struggle some meaning and value to the world that was testing me relentlessly, I decided to reach out to the world and share all I learned willingly and otherwise. I introspected, read books, journaled, prayed, experimented, refined, taught others, mentored, trained, networked and everything I humanly possibly could to 'fix' where broken and not just prevent the downward spiral into deep depression but start engineering a better life than before. All success in my life came through brutal hard work and all failure through oversight and underestimation of risks - sorry to disappoint any conspiracy theorists. 

I learned, life is 'solvable' if you have the right mindset, tools and 'tribe' around you. I hope to be a valuable guide to someone else in their journey. Its not an easy road by any means but despite it all, I have never been more content in my life than now, Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah). No, I don't have fast cars, a private jet and millions in the bank - life is too real for this overhyped social media mirage. I came somewhat close to all this with my stint in corporate America and Wall Street but soon I realized it wasn't for me. I digress! What I have are priceless battle scars that are ready to help.

Looking back, looking forward

Looking back, I realize life is not just about why storms happen and how to avoid them but life hinges upon how we handle storms we never thought were survivable. It really comes down to navigating a handful of high-impact events by building yourself through low-impact times.

Two major lessons I take from my life's challenges; first, disown any victim-hood and fully embrace every obstacle down to the nth degree of injustice - its the past, its done, yes, share your experience instead of suppressing it but then in due time learn and grow from here. A seed doesn't stop growing because its buried deep in the sand. Secondly, just as the best way to learn something is to teach others, similarly, the best way to heal from trauma and come back stronger is to help others heal and grow.

If you live long enough you will most likely face a dislodging event or more in your lifetime - how you recover and soar even higher than before is based on your generosity, persistence and creativity. Resiliency, in my view, is a collection of adjacent and complimentary skills laser-focused on your ability to survive and thrive.

To me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a fellow human, a fellow sufferer, a fellow warrior, start his or her journey armed only with faith and slowly build capacities and virtues to ascend despite limitations. As a regular everyday person, I have done this for myself so I know others can do this too, no matter what their obstacle course looks like.

My aim with this website and all related personal development initiatives is to transfer as much of practical life skills and lessons to others as practically possible. Exposure to real life and especially deep stress, churns knowledge into some level of portable wisdom and I hope I am able to do justice to all I share with mindfulness and sincerity. If a day comes when I feel I am not able to add further value, that day I may stop or most likely pause till I catch my second wind to share, learn and grow together.

Life inventory

I often ask those I life-coach to share their life inventory with a basic overview of their first-hand challenges, professional journey and key experiences, advantages, barriers and 'fuels'. This gives me a good snapshot introduction to the battle history and ammunition at their disposal.

My snapshot introduction for those who may be interested:

Primary Exogenous Challenges (PEC)

  • Tech Bubble Burst 2000

  • 9/11 2001

  • Subprime Housing Crisis 2007

  • Dubai Property Crisis 2009

  • The Arab Spring 2010

  • The Great Lockdown 2020

Primary Personal Challenges (PPC)

  • Culture shock & home sickness 1995-1997

  • Marriage/divorce 2006-2011

  • Family fund collapse 2012

  • Nurturing my son as a single parent 2011-present

  • Rebuilding life after 20+ years away 2015-present

US

Middle East

Middle East

20+

years

Pakistan

Professional Journey

  • Founder, tech services startup, Synapse Worldwide (Pvt.) Limited (US/PAK)

  • Supply Chain Manager, Lucent Technologies (US)

  • Investment Analyst, UBS Investment Bank (US/Middle East)

  • Management Consultant & Teacher (US/Middle East/Pakistan)

Sector Experience

  • Technology

  • Media

  • Telecom

  • Real Estate

  • NGO/Development Sector

  • Construction

  • Education

  • Personal Development

  • Capacity Building

Advantages

  • My son

  • My family

  • Old and new friends

  • Mentors

  • Supervisors

  • Students

  • Mentees

  • All those who were a source of adversity - you taught me the real meaning of risk!

  • Breadth of experience

  • Depth of marketable skills

  • Desire to heal and skill

Barriers

  • Depression

  • Shame

  • Anger

  • Shock

  • Helplessness

  • Anxiety

  • Exhaustion

Fuels

  • Gratitude

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Sketching

  • Tennis

  • Music

  • Walking

©2020 BY SAUD MASUD