Perspective by ProPakistani recently got a chance to sit down with the inimitable Shawaz Hussain Baloch, who is a motivational speaker, social entrepreneur, philanthropist, coach and mentor.
What we love about his work is that he is promoting spreading a message of positivity and inspiring people to live fulfilling lives. He also regularly engages with students through talks and inspirational messages.
He is first visually impaired person in the world to qualify for the PMP certification from USA, PRINCE 2 from UK and social entrepreneurship from Oxford University.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
- How important is it for one to overcome their fears to succeed in life?
It is very important to overcome your fears to succeed in life. These fears are just like the speed bumps on the road, they can slow you down but they cannot stop you. If you do stop you won’t reach your destination. In my opinion, if you overcome the speed bumps then you will succeed in life.
2. Did you ever feel that life was being unfair to you?
I did not think for a moment that my life has been unfair. On the contrary, I feel my life has been completely fair. If I did not have my fears, I would not be sitting here. These fears were like a blessing in disguise for me.
The fears are just like headwinds of an aircraft, they make you fly high. The fears make you explore your own self, they make you self-aware. For me personally, these fears have helped me in life, I did not think to run away from the fears but rather face them.
In my book, FEAR stands for Face Everything And Run.
3. How does it feel when you overcome a fear that you thought you never will?
I’ve had three fears in life, fear of water, height and darkness.
I became a Naval officer and swam in the sea, despite of my fear of water.
I became a pilot and now fly at incredible heights, despite of my fear of heights.
I have achieved so much despite of my fear of darkness, I have contributed light to a dark society.
It’s always a sense of achievement to overcome your fears, I will very happy and proud of having achieved so much in my life despite these fears.
4. How about your fears of swimming and flying?
Now I love my fears, and love to swim and to fly. I remember when I first got into the swimming pool during my training, I was so scared, I was scared that I will not come back up, but believe me once I finished the lesson I was overcome with joy. I jumped from the diving board again and again until my fear was completely gone. I overcame my fear of heights in the same manner.
Anyone can overcome their fears, you just need to do face them again and again, and you need to make it your friend.
5. Tell us about your educational journey that not even visual impartment could stop.
My journey from sight to vision includes my educational achievements. Visual impairment never stopped me because I never thought of it as a disability. I never gave it any importance, I would go through my day just like any other person.
This attitude helped me in receiving so many awards, I became the first visually impaired person to win a gold medal in Emirates Project Management, then I did my PMP from PMI USA and social entrepreneurship from Oxford University and then coaching and mentoring from Oxford University as well.
Apart from this I have done numerous certifications from LUMS and recently I was awarded the star of excellence by the President of Pakistan.
So all in all, you can overcome anything in life if you are true to yourself. It’s all about how you perceive things, and it’s all in your mind.
6. Why in your view is the younger generation suffering from anxiety and depression today?
I think the youth of the country are suffering from anxiety and depression because they don’t have goals in life. In my opinion, our youth don’t have any direction or guidelines in life, and they don’t have anything to look forward to.
There’s a saying ‘empty mind is the devil’s mind.’
The youth are focused on taking shortcuts. They don’t want to put in the effort to get to their goals – rather, they haven’t even set any goals in life.
The youth is going in the wrong direction. Their focus is completely out of line and they want have a good time rather than live a good life.
7. Tell us about your time with Qasim Ali Shah Foundation.
My time with Qasim Ali Shah foundation has been excellent. I am one of the motivational speakers on their panel and am enjoying my time here.
I have a very strong bond with Qasim Ali Shah. He is contributing so much towards the society and overall the foundation is doing a fantastic job.
They are spreading good word in the society, which is equivalent to ‘sadqa-jaariyah’ (charity). To impact someone’s life in a positive way with your words is a great achievement and that is why I am a big fan of his work. I really respect him and his work, he is a great friend.
I am opening a foundation myself, named ‘Humanity First’, and one of the projects of this venture will be ‘school of motivation’.
These types of things will help our society move in a better direction.
I feel Qasim Ali Shah is the most deserving candidate for Pride of Performance and I request the President of Pakistan to award him
8. Does sharing/counseling help in one’s tough times? Or the person must fight his own battles?
Sharing your thoughts and emotions with other people will help you a lo. It will lift a load from your chest and will make you feel very light.
I have had many battles myself and I used to fight them alone, but from my experience a person suffering from such emotions needs a mentor in life.
My mentor was my father. I used to discuss everything with him, and he used to guide me and was always there for me. Whenever I thought I had given my 100% and was still stuck in a problem, my father was always there to save me.
My suggestion would be to always give your 100%, that will boost your confidence and if in any case you get stuck, discuss openly with your confidants or your mentors.
The basic difference between sight and vision is that vision starts once the sight is finished.
I will give you a simple example, whenever your car breaks down during a journey, it will not stop you from reaching your destination, there may be some delay but you will find an alternative way to reach it.
That means that even though your sight is finished, the vision will help you in reaching your goals.