Slingshot: Rewriting The Story Of Your Life With Moustafa Hamwi

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We go through life learning the lessons necessary for us to find our purpose. In this episode, we follow the transformative journey of bestselling author and passion reigniter, Moustafa Hamwi. Moustafa, known for his unique lifestyle as an executive nomad, shares his remarkable evolution from a corporate job in Dubai to the realization that the glitz of the party scene didn't fulfill his soul. Seeking deeper meaning, he ventured to India, immersing himself in meditation and reflection with a Himalayan guru. Moustafa's journey took a challenging turn during the pandemic in Melbourne, prompting a reevaluation of his own teachings. Discover the profound insights Moustafa gained during moments of personal crisis, the power of the slingshot analogy, and the importance of rewriting the story of one's life. The conversation delves into maintaining focus, simplification as a key to balance, and the nuances of the self-help industry, offering a rich tapestry of wisdom for those navigating their own paths of transformation. Tune in and explore the yin and yang of life with Moustafa as he shares the keys to a fulfilling and balanced existence.


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Slingshot: Rewriting The Story Of Your Life With Moustafa Hamwi

It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Moustafa Hamwi. Moustafa is a bestselling author cited as 1 of the top 100 coaches of the future and globally recognized as a leading expert in reigniting people's passion so they can win the game of work and business of life. His expertise covers many diverse disciplines, including executive coaching, hypnotherapy, yoga and meditation to even adventure sports and nature healing. I can't wait to dig in.

Moustafa's unique lifestyle as an executive nomad has him traversing the globe, often spending months living out of a camper van, immersing himself in diverse cultures and forging a deep connection with nature. That's why you're my people. I'm looking forward to having this conversation with you, Moustafa and I want to welcome you to the show.

Tony, thank you very much for having me. I’m excited to be on the show.

We're going to have some great conversations, but one of the things that I love about this particular show is bringing amazing people on and understanding their journey to getting to where they are and doing it through what we call flashpoints, these points in our journey. They've ignited our gifts into the world and you've got a lot of things going on. You've got a lot of interesting things you've accomplished and from our initial conversation, we haven't even touched the surface. I'm anxious to share you with the audience.

Thank you very much. I'm honored that you'd even say that and I know you're doing amazing stuff and having amazing guests on your show, so I’m happy to be one of them.

Yes, you're in good company, for sure. Before we get started, I wanted to first say, where are you located right now?

I'm somewhere every time of the year, but currently, I'm in Melbourne and right after this, I'm heading out somewhere to nature for about a week or so.

To get us started, as I said, the flashpoint is the way we're going to navigate your story. I'm going to turn it over to you in a minute and you can start where you'd like to start and pause along the way and we'll see where we want to dig in and maybe see, look at the themes that are showing up. What is the first flash point you want to explore?

Slingshot: Lessons From Your 20s

I think everybody's got in their life lots of pivot points, but I always like to ask a fun question to people, like when we're out socially, I say, “If you are to choose a point of time to go back to, what would that point be and what would you change?” It’s funny, now I'm being asked the same question. What would my flashpoint be? Many of those points are for debate, but I would go back to around my early twenties right when I graduated uni.

That's going to be an interesting point of debate because I'm going to give one angle on it, but also I want to remind everybody, that we are where we are and who we are because of all the experiences we've gone through, but there's definitely lessons to take from there. I'd say in my twenties probably would've been an interesting period and that's mainly because of the detour that I took in my life that was unplanned and was a crazy adventure that got me here.

Tell me more. Where were you going to school and what exactly happened?

I am Syrian by birth. I was born in Syria. I have lived in a diverse amount of countries including Saudi, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and so on. I graduated uni and went straight to Dubai where I had my first job. My first job was a telesales operator. I worked my way through the corporate ladder and became the guy who was responsible for the PR for Nokia in the Middle East through the agency. I was on the agency side,. That gave me exposure to a lot of nightlife and events because back in the days, Nokia was one of the, if not the biggest, 70%-plus market share of mobile phones in the world. That got me access to all the parties, nightlife, events and concerts. I became a very popular guy, which led to me running my own parties.

I quit my job and opened up my own event agency. A few years in, the life became very interesting. It wasn't as inspiring as it looks on a video clip to see all of those cars, gold, parties and whatever it is. I got fed up. I bought a one-way ticket to India and that journey was the beginning of the transformation. That's why I say it's interesting to go back to that early beginning of that because part of me knows that had I been okay with certain things and letting them be, I might have not taken that detour. I would've gotten much earlier into the speaking and coaching and people transformation and things like that. However, without that journey also, I wouldn't be who I am today. It's an interesting analogy, but I always like to look at that point.

I love how you share that because sometimes the path we take is what's meant for us and we have to go through, I won't say we have to go through hell to get to heaven, but we do need to go through some challenges to experience all of the parts of who we are in order to then figure out, “Yes, this is what I was meant for.”

Also, we didn't mention this in the intro, but you are the author of a book that is called Slingshot. It almost immediately has me thinking about this concept of you slingshotting yourself through life, having these experiences and moving yourself from all of these crazy scenes and crazy experiences, but also going all the way to another spectrum of the calmness and the serenity of India, which is where you left us off. Tell us where you went from there.

Thank you very much. It's an interesting thing that you said now, the calmness of India, and that seems to be a beautiful movie theme that people have a perception of an inwards journey. After going on that journey throughout India, traveling the Himalayas, I actually met a guru or a swami that has been in caves for thirteen years. I spent a lot of time with him in meditation and reflection on life and things like that. I can tell you one thing for sure, none of it was coming. If anything, the only way to find truth and the answers that we seek is to go inwards into the darkest and deepest corners inside of us. Usually, those are not the nicest. There's a whole illusion out there in the self-help and personal growth market to make things. It sells better when you say it's beautiful.

The only way to find truth and the answers that we seek is to go inwards into the darkest and deepest corners inside of us.

Not to say there is no beauty at the end of the journey, but think of it like a strong growth session in a gym. You don't see people going, “This is so nice, I'm bench pressing.” That level of personal inner spiritual growth is always deep, reflective. The deeper, the darker. One caveat I like to put here because it is very interesting. There's always that image. I know a lot of people would hate me in the industry for speaking up on this, but I say the only one that makes money in a gold rush is a shovel company. Unfortunately, the self-help industry has transformed at this stage. It diverted from being about growth, help and teaching to how can I put a lead magnet to get people in, to funnel them in.

There's nothing wrong with the business. We are offering value as an exchange of money for the service we provide. As much as you can eat a junk food meal and a decent meal, we are offering a decent meal. Unfortunately, there's that big pivot into the attention economy where it's about followers, funnels and it's about this and then the essence of it has been lost. I had to bring that up to say that the outcome is beautiful. That much I can guarantee. The outcome is amazing. We make the process as easy, beautiful and as smooth as possible, but it is a transformational process.

It's also ugly in the process because you go through a lot of darkness and emotional challenges in doing that. I love how you brought that up because this speaks to this sense that you were in a glamorous life of the parties and all the opulence, let's call it and then you came to the realization that that's not what it is. That is the secret. The secret is the inner life of getting to know yourself and getting to know what is going on for you, what's real for you. Would you agree?

I'd agree on that element. I think also it's normal that we all sway in life between either/or and things like that. On my journey of transformation, I have gone through these ups and downs myself. I went from having the high of I thought I got everything that every guy wanted because that's what we see in video clips and social media. There wasn't even social media back then. It's a lot more problematic now of the image that gets painted in people's heads of how they should live their lives. “Look at me, roses. Look at me having fun with my partner. Look at me at dinner.” It's too much. Every time I want to scratch my head, people get a post on social media. That journey also led me to the darkest spot of going, “This has no taste.”

It's not as enjoyable as it looks. The mind paints a picture that makes it look cool because it matches a movie, but when you're in it, it's not as fulfilling. It's nice for a little bit, but once the high wears off, it becomes a repetitive rinse and repeat. After a while, it becomes an addiction that you can't do without, but it's not necessarily fulfilling. This was the spiritual crisis, I'd say with the inner crisis for me, where I started having to ask myself, “I don't understand what's going on, but I'm not happy. I had everything everybody told me that would make me happy, but I’m not happy.” There were a few realizations there. One is that the pursuit of happiness is making you sad because happiness is a momentary effect of achieving a desire and desires are endless.

Think of it as like a fire. No matter how much more wood you feed into it, the bigger the wood, the bigger the fire, the bigger the wood and it keeps going more and desires are the same. You reach a point where nothing's ever enough. You have a car, you want two cars. You have a house, you want two houses and you want a bigger house. You want holiday homes. You want this.

I'm not saying these things are not beautiful, but they're an element in the progress of life. What we should seek beyond happiness is fulfillment because fulfillment is the deeper meaning. It is the deeper why of what we're doing here. In the pursuit of fulfillment, there are ups and downs, highs and lows, happy and sad moments, but the fulfillment keeps us going regardless. We don't get too attached to the happy because the problem with the happy all the time is it sometimes makes us lose focus on the purpose because then we pursue the joy.

I need to be careful because I'm also the guy who went too much towards the purpose and pursuing the passion and the purpose and trying to do good that I burned myself out in the process. I'm saying be in a good balance of both. You need the yin and yang in life and we need to be able to walk a path that's meaningful to us. Along the way, we need to sleep, we need to eat, we need to pay bills, we need to have fun, but we need to go to the gym. We need to enjoy a nice junk meal on a weekend but also eat healthy most of the week so we're healthy. That's where I am in life now and what I like to tell people going through that journey.

Going back to 2008 until 2012, when I bought the one-way ticket, I was stuck in a cycle. At first, I'm needing help. I reached out, saying, “I need help.” I go to coaches. All the coaching schools back then were about go, go, go mentality. You can do it. You can overachieve. You can do whatever you want you set your mind to. What the mind believe and conceive the mind can achieve. Mind over matter. Super positive. Here's the keyword, there's nothing super in in reality. The reality is you should be positive, but life has negatives.

What had happened is I started getting depressed because I'm doing my best and I can't break through. I'm feeling like it's not a glass ceiling. I would shatter a glass ceiling. It's something that is like a string. I run and it pulls me back. That gave me a big a-ha on I know now there's definitely something inside me that I need to tackle and I'm going to have to pursue that.

I left that schools of coaching that are go, go, go into the world of healing. Now in the world of healing, masters of digging deeper. The deeper you dig a hole, the deeper it gets. It's like peeling an onion. We take one layer off and after a layer, there's another layer and then there's no actual core In this situation. I realized how far can you dig and how far do you want to go. I feel more broken than when I started. I go and solve one problem, I solve it, but then I dig deeper into find two more. I keep digging.

I realized that that's an inherent problem with the self-help industry because back to the comment I made earlier, it keeps people coming back for more because now you're not as a person who's supposed to help. That person is not helping people get over it. What they're helping them is get more and come back for more.

That's painful for me because I started feeling depressed because coaching was not helping. Healing was not helping. I realized neither of them could help alone. It is like you need a coherent meal. We need a yin and yang and we need the push and pull. I'm like, “What if I willingly take a step back, dive deep into that whatever trauma drama story I'm telling myself, untangle it, but then let go of it so I can accelerate into the future?” That's how the slingshot analogy came.

It's such a beautiful analogy and as you're describing this, it has me thinking about a lot of the things that are on top of mind for me in the sense that we have to go back and look at things. We have to go and reconcile the past, but we can't live there. We can't live in the past. We can't live in the trauma. It is an addictive cycle as you described.

It’s a sense that if we're constantly fa saying that we're broken and we have to go fix all the broken pieces before we can move forward, that's not necessarily what we need to do. We need to understand, become aware, move forward, become aware and then move forward and then continue to find ways to use the awareness as a tool to move forward. If we stay in that stuckness, then we're going to continue to say, “What else can I fix from the past?” We have to move forward and find ways to use what we're learning and also try new things.

Practice What You Preach

I love what you mentioned about the aim is to move forward not to dig for the sake of digging. Unfortunately, that whole situation of if a shovel company's selling you a shovel, then all you got to do is dig because that's the benefit of the shovel company. The reality is I was stuck in that cycle. What got me to write this book at the beginning was that part of it, which is the whole, “It's not right. There must be a solution that can help everybody.” I also found myself stuck in the Imposter Syndrome.

I had written my first book and part of the material of the research was whatever material I use now for this book Slingshot. I ended up going like, “Yeah, fine. Who are you? You've written one book. Take it easy. Don't get into your head,” and all of that. You feel always less than somebody who's more achieved. I’ve written 1, somebody's written 30 books. You go, “Okay, but these guys may be more smarter,” whatever it is.

I shelf that content and I put it somewhere in a drawer. Years go on and then life happens. I got married, I got divorced, I got out of a divorce, I came to Melbourne looking for a fresh start in March 2020. Bang on the pandemic. Bang on two days before the lockdown in Melbourne, which became the longest lockdown in history. I ended up in lockdown alone, new country, with no friends, no family, out of a divorce, into a place into four walls where I had to figure out what am I doing with my life and what have I done right. What have I done wrong? It's not an easy period.

On top of the pandemic, which is high paranoia. People wouldn't even want to say hello to you or shake your hand. My dad catches COVID. I didn't have time to leave Australia to see him because of the lockdown. I didn't see him before he passed away. I fly, come back, deal with all the drama that happens after that, come back, then my mom has a brain stroke. I end up getting a nervous breakdown. It was too much to handle. In that period is when somewhere I was getting depressed. I remember sitting like as I'm talking to you, I'm vivid when I'm sitting in my living room, looking down and I’m getting depressed. A voice in my head was like, “Practice what you preach. It's what you preach.”

I'm like, “True that.” It’s very easy to yap and tell people theory, “You got to do this, you got to do that.” Beautiful. We got on a podcast and I could become all beautiful and all smart and drop nuggets of wisdom. Can we walk the talk? I say the longest distance a leader has to walk is between their mouth and their feet. That's the hardest part. When the push comes to shove, this is what shows the true leader from not. The biggest leadership we do is in our own life.

For me, that was a moment of truth of am I good for my own medicine or is my medicine good enough for me? Am I going to walk the talk? Does my medicine work and this is what I have to prove against all the other things that I was criticizing earlier about the shovel companies. Is what I'm offering practical and does it work? I pulled out all that material and I started going through it. That helped me reformat, restructure, and rework my life.

From there, I started a publishing business aside from being a speaker, coach and author. I doubled the business. From 2020, we were 25 authors. We went literally in less than 12 months to 50 during the pandemic from 50 to 100. As we speak, we've crossed 130 authors. From 2020 to now, we went from about 10x the business. In one term, 5x the business.

In a way that was where the whole slingshot came back together. I'm saying that because I want people to understand the journey of getting somewhere in, not that I'm successful already, I'm on a journey of success, it's not a straight line. It's more like there's an up, but there has to be it because, without the lows, the highest won't taste as good.

Nor will you be learning as much about what needs to be done to be able to get to that next plateau because honestly there's those dips are where we learn the most. I love what you shared, too, the sense of taking your own medicine because I think there are a lot of preachers, not to put a bad name on preachers, but like people who speak a lot about like, “This is what you should do and this is how you should do it.” If you turn it around and say, “Have you tried that yourself,” then crickets. There's nothing.

The ability to take some of your own tools and apply it unfortunately in when you need it the most and see how it actually helped you through some of those more challenging times, I think that's what makes us meaningful. It helps other people to see that this is not just snake oil. It's a real process that can help you move forward. I think a lot of things do work, but the biggest problem people run into is not following through. Right?

A hundred percent. It’s easier said than done. Funny, I learned a lot about books and personal growth when I got into the publishing business because I'm an advocate of fairly reasonable smaller-sized books. That's the average size of any of my books. About 150 pages, 170 is the average. That's Slingshot. I say that because that's already heaps and I know people barely finish that. My book is typically more of a workbook. There's a lot of fill-in-the-blanks and things like that.

However, if you notice the publishing industry generally is about big books. Even me as a publisher and an author, I question how much of those books people read. It's about volume. People, when they buy, if I'm paying that much money and I'm getting everything that I possibly need to transform is going to be in this book. It’s like 1,000 spoons when all you need is a knife. It’s having that much. It's a psychological game that makes people sometimes feel, “I bought this book thus I am smart.”

No, you don't become a millionaire by buying a book about being a millionaire. You become a millionaire by executing and doing the work. However, it's a disproportionate situation now because of the way the game is being played, unfortunately. Yes, I'm speaking up a little bit here on how some of the industry practices are.

You don't become a millionaire by buying a book about being a millionaire. You become a millionaire by executing and doing the work.

Not to say that everybody is like that, but I'm also speaking up for people who are reading because that's on you to practice discretion in the choices you make. It takes two to tango. If there's a snake oil salesman selling snake oil, I think anybody, at least people reading this, has a decent level of IQ to also distinct and go, “It sounds like snake oil. Maybe I’ll explore, but with a grain of salt,” rather than, “This is going to be the one solution that’s going to fix everything.”

I’ll be honest, I have fallen victim to a lot of that. In the early days , you want like a quick fix. You want to be like, “Yeah, this is great. You can get me that place or you can do that thing for me. Yeah, let's do it.” You spend the money and you realize, “What was a waste of time and money. If I just did it myself, I could have gotten much further and also learned a lot in the process.” I think it’s very vulnerable for me to share that. I think the reality is a lot of us fall victim to that because we want it to be true but it isn't.

There's always a side of us that wants an easy fix. Any smart person would want to be efficient. We would look for ways that would make life easier. The balance is the question over here, especially with so much marketing that is designed to hijack. There's a term now in the industry which freaks me out because I come originally from a marketing background, but it's called neuromarketing.

Marketers are sitting out there analyzing what they have to do to press the button in you to take an action. The purpose here is not to make your life better. The purpose there is to make you part ways with your money. That's why I'm at this stage that I’ve gone through that experience. I speak up on it and I say, “I promise you immediate and quick results,” but I explain something. I say, “Keep brushing your teeth.” Nobody will give you one solution that will last forever. You will use it now and it will work for now but you got to keep doing it day in, day out. Back to your word, there's nothing that will ever beat consistency in life. Consistency is the key and magic to every transformation.

Maintaining Focus

No truer words than that. I want to get back to your story about your journey. I guess one of the things that comes to mind besides where you're at right now is how you manage it all. You've done a lot and you came from a world where you were doing a ton of activity and then you stripped a lot of it away, but then you started to ramp up a lot. I think this happens a lot to people who have a lot of interests. How do you maintain focus when you need it most?

I think I would not want to claim that I am a very highly focused person, but also, I always aspire to be better. I look up to people who are even more achieved than me in certain ways. I go, “My level of focus is nothing compared to their level of focus.” How do I maintain focus is realigning on what I set as a goal and honing in on that? I think if you want to know how good of a focus you need, look at any dog wanting to play ball. It literally gives a new definition of keep your eyes on the ball. If you ever hold a ball in front of a dog, their head is like, “You do this.” It's hilarious because it's simple. Focus is hard but easy at the same time.

It's hard when you complicate life and it's easy when you simplify life. The magic for me has been simplification. After that whole transformation that I went through, I’ll go back to Alanis Morisette’s lyrics, 1,000 spoons and all you need is a knife. The mind is a hoarder. I realized how much of a hoarder I am that I have so many things because maybe one day I need this and maybe this is from my childhood years.

Too many maybes and suddenly we need a store for a store and a box in a box. When I learned that when you know what is important, it's easy to let go of what is not. The problem is people are trying to let go, but the mind doesn't like the void. What you're going to do is decide what is important in your life. Put that as a priority. It’s very easy to say no to other things that don't need your money, don't need anything. As of 2023, I gave up everything I own in life and I downsized my life into two bags.

When you know what is important, it's easy to let go of what is not.

One bag that has my casual stuff, one bag that has my semi-formal things where I need to dress up for work, shirts, things like that and a laptop bag. Aside from that, I have one small box split into two, some in Melbourne, and some in Dubai of memorabilia that I don't want to give up. I'm not giving up everything. Some old printed pictures from back in the days, folders and files and whatever. I know my mom is holding a lot of that stuff anyway, so nobody would be doing the same. Now life is simple for me. That actually allowed me to travel the world, living as an executive nomad.

I’m not saying everybody should, but it gives me the ability to make choices that are valuable for me. I love being in nature. I love being on the road. My life runs from a laptop. No, I'm not an influencer. I barely post about my journeys. I only post for some people who are asking me because they want to see what I'm doing. I don't make money from posting my travels and my things online. I'm in leadership. I'm in development. I'm in personal growth. I do rock-solid corporate work, but I do it on my own terms.

I travel the world. I do what I want when I want because that's what's important for me. If it's important for you to have and hoard certain things, no problem. Always, boundary control is the question. How much is too much and how much is too little? I can guarantee almost all of us are on the too much side rather than the too little side.

You Are Good Enough

It comes back to this question that often comes up. How are you in complicit in creating the situation that you are in? Obviously, if you feel like you have too much stuff and you feel like you are overwhelmed, maybe part of it's because you created that situation. Not to be too over the top in terms of blaming you, but the reality is we are complicit in creating the conditions that we are in in our lives. To come back to the story of your journey to getting to where you are, are there any other flashpoints or things that challenge that you faced along the way that you want to share?

If I go through that journey of slingshot, back to the book and the analogy of the slingshot, I will say something that I know everybody says to themselves. I'm an imposter. I think that's a struggle that we all have because of conditioning and that has held me and I know it's holding a lot of the readers back from achieving what we are meant to achieve in life.

I'd like to use greatness and all of these things, but I also want to make sure it's not always big because there's a whole drive that it has to be big to be worthwhile. It has to be that greatness. I'm a speaker. When I want to be on stage, I can get everybody pumped up and say all these magic words that are out there.

I'm also stepping into a place of more vulnerability and honesty because there is space and room for motivating and getting people pumped up. Also, there's room for allowing people not to be overly stimulated in a world that's bombarding us with media, information and things like that. Suddenly, we lose our trust in ourselves and in the universe and in our ability to perform because we're never good enough.

I want to say to everybody, something that I remind myself of every day. I am good enough. You are good enough. You are as good as you can be. You've done your best to get where you are now. If you need help, seek it, but seek it. Don't seek it from a place of lack. Seek it from a place of inspiration. I’ve been on that journey. It's like we've been there because we think we're broken and we look for somebody to fix us. Only we'll attract somebody who wants to play a fixer role.

Typically, those are either people who are broken themselves trying to find a purpose to justify that they are good enough by fixing someone else or the other side, you will attract somebody who is actually trying to make you partway with your money because they go, “This is the new snake oil that's going to help you.”

I say to myself and to everybody, “Honor the fact that we are who we are and we are on a journey that's not a straight line, that's ups and downs and appreciate the lows as much as the highs.” For me, I always say, “Use the lows to prepare for the highs.” It's bound to. It's impossible. Nothing keeps going. What goes up must come down. What comes down, must come up. That's the nature of life.

If you think of a hospital analogy, a straight line means you're dead. You want the sound that means you're alive. Guess what? If you're having ups and downs in life, be happy and celebrate and go, “I'm alive and I'm on a journey. I'm on an adventure of a lifetime.” It’s easier said than done. That will take me back to a bit of something in Slingshot. I would love to share it if you allow me.

Please. I was going to say that.

Rewrite The Story Of Your Life

All that we live is a story and your trauma becomes your drama. That was a bad tongue twister. Your trauma becomes your drama. Yes, I understand. We get trauma. Some people are not medical experts and I'm not talking about medical deep trauma, but I'm talking generally if you have a traumatic experience, that's a self-defense mechanism.

We put talking about that. I’ve got a bandage on my finger. Good analogy. You put your hand somewhere with a knife, you cut yourself, you get a mini-drama in your mind that goes, “Blood, knife, not nice.” As a child, you need that protection mechanism to go, “No. Fire, no good. Knife, no good.” You need the mini-trauma. If you let it sit and sink too much, it flourishes and then it becomes the drama. The drama becomes trauma by itself and retraumatize yourself in the story. You layer that over and you have a story of your life. That story starts repeating itself in a self-fulfilling pattern because I am X, Y, Z. In my journey, part of the Slingshot, what I did is I realized that all there is to it, if I simplify this whole book in a couple of words, it's about rewriting the story of your life over and over again.

That's all there is to it. All this book does is actually you take it, you start writing the story of your life. The first question I’ll ask is, if your life was a movie, as it stands now and be honest, be like, “I'm being vulnerable and honest on this.” I know Tony, you are. To make it easy for the reader to go, “It's okay.” Ask yourself, if life was a movie, what genre would it be?

In my case, I’ll tell you the downtime. When I was depressed, my story was dreams broken on the shores of reality. I'm being as brutally honest as I can. I would sit looking into the sunset in Dubai, go to the beach, to be depressed and saying, “All my dreams got shattered on the shores of reality.” Translating from Arabic, dreams are shattered on the on the shores of reality. The genre is a sad drama. That's the title. Think of the genre and think about what title would you give that movie.

Start writing that story. “I am,” and describe that. “I am a failure.” That was my story. I am a failure because I come from a Syrian background. I didn't get a good education. I was never sent to proper universities. My dad interfered in my decisions. I belong to a culture that never allowed me to express and flourish. I kept on digging all the ugly stuff that I used as an excuse for any failure in my life and wrote that. We'll talk about failure separately. Now I’ve got these dreams shattered on the shores of reality, sad drama movie by Moustafa Hamwi. You write down all the details.

I started going through different exercises to reframe that story. This is what the book is about. It helps you take that and break it down and restructure, reorder, reformat and restructure it. By the end, I rewrote the story and now, if you ask me what's the story of my life, the story of my life is a life to die for. Adventure of a lifetime. It's what I told you earlier because now that you have asked me, I tell you I know that point because I always said in my depressed times, I would go back there and I would change every decision. I would do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Now I'm on the other side of that journey of that rollercoaster. It's not over, but at least on one stage of it.

If you ask me today, “Would you change a few things?” I’ll tell you. Of course, anybody who didn't learn anything in life is not smart. If you reach your 50s and you haven't learned from your 40s, you're not smart. If you reach your 40s and you haven't learned from 30s, you're not smart. If you're not learning from other people's mistakes, that's not very smart. However, you don't get attached and stuck to the drama part of it. Let go. That's the analogy of letting go and slingshot into the future. Guess what's going to happen. There's going to be another rollercoaster. There's going to be another dip and another high. It's that beautiful to be able to go through that journey, acknowledging that. Be sad when you're sad and honor the feelings and honor the sadness and honor all of these experiences.

I love the way you described that. I ask the same question of myself sometimes about this like, “What would your movie be about?” I think it's a powerful way to look at this. There’s power in words, too. When you get those words out of your mind, this literally writing your story down, there's something about that that takes away the reality of it. You start to say, “How is that true? That is not true. That can't be true.” If I were to rewrite that story, what would it look like? I think there's something about what you shared, which is a powerful exercise that people can do and redo and continue to live into the story that they want to live in. How can they be more empowered? Everything you described is so amazing and very well put. Thank you.

I love what also what you said here. It's about the awareness. I say this industry is a big term, self-help, transformation, executive coaching, healing. The industry of changing people's lives. I don't know if I even like the word industry. The role of changing people's lives, there's that whole experience of awareness. None of us is actually doing the change. We're just a conduit. We're just a bridge. We're the connector from, “You are looking at the wrong side of your story. How about if you do this and look at this side of your story?” Suddenly, they’re like, “Ah.”

There's that beautiful picture on social media with two guys on a bus, one looking on one side when they're looking at the mountain depressed. The other one is looking at the valley, looking at the views. I think that analogy comes in handy, which is exactly what you said there. It's about bringing it to the awareness. Everybody's mature enough, smart enough, intelligent enough and wanting success in their life. Once they hold their gaze in the right direction and have the commitment to stay on track to get to where they want to get to.

There are so many things you've shared that are amazing. I want to start with before we get to our final question, I want to ask, is there anything you haven't shared already that you want to share about what you've learned in your amazing journey so far that you want to share?

Do Not Wait For Life To Happen

When I started, I started with obviously the topic of passion because that was my own pursuit. From 2008 to 2012, I was being taken on a ride by most of the self-help industry. I got fed up. I bought a one-way ticket to India, went on the transformational journey, came back and then started talking about passion. I did 160-plus face-to-face interviews. Back in the days, there was no podcasting. It was old school cameras and sit-down face to face with people.

I asked one question, what does passion mean? Over that, I wrote my first and second books. Slingshot is my third book. However, one thing I learned from that experience, traveling the world, speaking, coaching and interviewing some of the world's top experts in every field, including Olympians, Nobel Prize nominees and so on, one common factor is passionate people do not wait for life to happen to them. They happen to life.

Passionate people do not wait for life to happen to them. They happen to life.

If there's one of the takeaways I'd love people to take is to realize that you've got it in you. Your passion is your purpose. Slingshot is a stage to help you pursue that. In a way, I always say, I go back to the core of my first book, stay on passion, stay on purpose. Along the journey, there will be ups and downs. You'll need tools. When you're there, that's going to be your biggest breakthrough.

It is you remind me of something that someone told me this and it lands with me because people always think that when you say everything you need is inside of you, the reality is it is because if it is to be, it's up to me is a saying that I’ve heard. I love that because it's like this empowerment that we say we know that everything's inside of us. It's about enabling ourselves to actually get out and make it happen.

No one's going to come to us and say, “Here's an opportunity. Go do this.” That's not how it works. We have to actually create that. One of my guests, Carol Kauffman, said that you have to increase your probabilities of things happening by getting out and doing the things that puts you in trajectory to making things happen. Probabilities are a key part of this. I think that actually lines with what you're saying. Would you agree?

I love it.

Two Impactful Books

Last question, what are 1 or 2 books that have had an impact on you and why? I can't wait to hear it.

My answer remains to be the Bible of this industry, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I would debate and argue to the core with anybody who would claim otherwise. If anybody is in the industry, unless they're 100 years old, maybe they know books older than that. Anybody who's in this, at least up to a generation of in their 70s and 80s, everybody owes it back to that book from a genuine transformation on simple terms. I'm not talking about leadership. It actually includes everything.

He was the first guy. Old school, get on a plane. By the way, it wasn't funded even by him. He was a journalist in a way doing the investigative job. He did a phenomenal job on interviewing old-school success and taking and distilling values that are timeless and funny. Although it's called Think and Grow Rich, richness was not intended to talk about this as now. He's talking about richness in every aspect of life. He talks about hard work and determination. He talks about staying consistent. He talks about values. He talks about food, even, not letting yourself go with the consumption of your food. He talks about everything. I know a lot of people have heard about it, but if there's one book you want to read in to grow yourself and apply, it is that book.

Those classics like that. I’ll put The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in there because I think it is one of those books. I know it's not as old as Think and Grow Rich, but it's one of those things that makes a lot of sense and it's good. It doesn't mean that because there's new things that are out there. Those classics still are classics for a reason.

All these are goldies. All these are gold.

I appreciate that. That's awesome. The interest of time, I'm going to say thank you so much for an amazing conversation. This was packed with insights that I can't even like fathom right now. Thank you so much.

Thank you very much. As a sign of gratitude to you and to the readers who would've at least made it this far through the show, I would love to give everybody on the show a free eCopy of my latest bestselling book, Slingshot: The Practical Guide to Becoming a Master of Your Destiny, Not A Victim of Your History. It has a lot. You'll dive deep into the tools and applications. It's a practical book plus a lot of bonuses, meditations, downloads and so on. You go to my website, You're going to put your name and email and there's a field to put a code. Put Campfire in reference to this show and you'll be accessing all those beautiful stuff. Hopefully, the most important is please, if you do so, when you get it, do the work. That's what's most important.

I couldn't agree more. That's fantastic and thank you so much for being generous. That's awesome. I appreciate it. Beyond that, is there anything other way that people can get in touch with you or reach out to your website? Is that the best place to find you?

Yeah, would be the best way. Once you're there, there's a contact form and of course, you can find me on social media. I'm very easy to find. I would love to give you something before we even talk. If you download that, you'll have my email when you receive it and then you can reply and I personally check my emails.

Thank you again for such an amazing conversation and thanks to readers for coming on the journey. I know that you're leaving completely blown away and inspired and ready to consume all of these amazing resources. Thank you.

Thank you very much.

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