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Reach for the stars

You could be the next Donald Trump. No seriously, I'm not kidding. The question is… do you really want to? Or is that you think becoming that rich is completely beyond your reach? Well if that's how you feel then let me tell you one thing- your dream is closer than you think it is.

Inspirational coach Michael Bungay Stanier asks, "If there were no obstacles, what would you really be doing right now? If you could not fail, what would total and fabulous success look like?" To which, Sabrina adds, "Don't get caught up in the "How would I get there. Just let your imagination go on what outrageous success looks like."

If asked the question above, strangely, most people would go, “I really don't know” or “An executive at a multinational company” or something in a similar line. It seems like we are stuck in a boring little box filled with equally boring thoughts. Why not let our imagination really fly? Why don't we just dream big when we dream, anyway? Why are we unwilling to let the real person within out?

Wake up, people! If you are into music, why not dream of being the biggest rock star? Why not dream of having world tours, having millions of fans and being famous to the craziest level? If you want to be a doctor, then please don't say that you want to be a 'distinguished' doctor in some small hospital. Not that, that would be bad, but if you can have your own hospital with doctors working under your orders, won't that be better? That way, you could save even more lives.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin

Why have we stopped dreaming big? It's not like we are any less intelligent than people from any other countries. In our generation, there are so many talented people… our country could really rock it! The problem is ourselves. We should stop being scared and unsure of ourselves. Its time we let go of all the things that are tying us down. Its time to just go for it! Life is about taking risks. We simply have to be brave enough.

Surely, reaching our dreams isn't going to be a piece of cake. A lot of struggle is definitely in store. And will there be any fun if we could just get what we want that easily? Yes, it will be very hard to get there since we'll have to start right from the bottom. There will be a lot of problems and even more barriers blocking our path. What one has to do is overcome those problems, breaking through the wall that stands in their way. We need to learn to get back on our feet every time we are pushed and crushed to the ground. Willpower, that's all one needs. If one has the courage, the determination, then nothing and I mean NOTHING can stop them.

But before everything else, you need to be sure of what you want to be. It's true, that a lot of us have no clue as to what that is. The trick is to think. Yes, you heard me right. For a long while, just think. Keep all problems and things out of your mind and ask yourself. If you still can't come up with an answer, or if you come up with tons of them, it's alright, either way.

Our country has very limited ECAs, so it's not our fault that our thoughts are so compressed. The thing you could do is, give everything a try. Get into music, go for art classes/fashion or interior designing, try writing, get into an NGO, start playing football, cricket, basketball or any other sport you can think of. Then check, which of these satisfy you the most? What gives you the feeling of complete elation, as if you're on top of the world, the happiest person on Earth?

The answer will come to you soon enough, no worries. But don't take too much time thinking. And whatever decision you take... make sure it's what you want. Don't be worried about what your parents or even friends might think. Put you heart and soul into it. It's your dream after all, and not theirs.

If you really want to reach for the stars, become someone, if you want to make a difference, then you sure can. If you really want to leave your mark in this world, if you want your name mentioned in every newspaper and if you want to be respected, then trust me, it's what you'll get. All you have to do is set your heart to your goal, face all the problems that come in your way boldly and just keep on going. You'll end up finding life leading the way.

Quotes Reference: http://www.makingadifference.typepad.com and Lifestyle.
By Nayeema Reza

Nicknames, and what they do to you

My dad is a huge fan of birds, and when he was young he used to have a small poultry farm where he kept his own chickens and hens. According to common belief within my family, it is due to his love for birds that he nicknamed me 'Munia'. That's all well and good, it's always heart warming to have this story repeated over and over again in various family gatherings- but there's, as there always seems to be in my life, a slight problem.

The fact that I have two separate names didn't really make any sense to me when I was a kid, and so I made up my own solution to the problem (brilliant, ain't I?). Since my 'proper' name is Fahima Bintee Jamal, and my nickname is Munia, I made up a nice concoction of my own-Munia Jamal. My theory behind this was simple- it contained the name most people knew me by as well as my family name. I have to admit though there was a more realistic reason behind this (at least, I thought so anyway) and that was that all my fellow classmates seemed to have only two names.

One of the interesting things about my name (Munia) was that it was always unique in the British and American standard schools abroad, and no one could surely say whether I was Hindu, Muslim or Christian! Then of course there was the downside, most of my classmates would repeatedly inquire: "You're named after a BIRD?" Emphasis on the "Bird'. If only they'd ever met my maternal uncles. One of them is called "Golap" (which is Bangla for "rose".

Yes, the one that's a flower), while another distant uncle is called "Angur" (Bangla for "Grape". The fruit). Sometimes I can't help wondering whether their parents gave them such names out of love, or out of malice. I mean, why name a guy after a flower, or worse, a fruit?!?

Anyways, my dilemma with my two names continued throughout most of my childhood. At one point I decided to opt for the use of one specific name only in school: Fahima. At first it felt strange, being called by a name that was my own, but which wasn't really used in everyday life, it was always present in all my official documents, but other than that, it wasn't really a part of my daily life. Besides it has a very formal ring to it, like I am some kind of a grownup person or something (come to think of it, maybe I am.). Any way, after a while, Fahima became one of my regular companions.

However, once again, there was another small problem, this one occurred at home. Every time one of my friends or classmates would call me, they'd obviously ask for Fahima, and then one of my parents would ask in an unsure tone, "You mean Munia?" Then, of course, the reply on the other end of the line would be, "Oh no, uncle/aunty, I am looking for Fahima, maybe I dialed the wrong number."

See what two names can do to you? Even my own parents got confused! But such incidents happened initially. Now they opt for another method, when someone asks for Fahima on the phone, whichever of my parents happens to pick up the phone says, "Sure, just hold on, Munia is coming." This in turn ends up confusing my poor friends. Some of them even slowly cut the line, thinking that they've once again dialed the wrong number.No matter how annoying your name can be, it IS your name. Besides, most of our parents spent quite a lot of time searching (and bothering people) for a good name for their children. One more important thing is, as weird as they may sound our names actually have very nice meanings (well, most of them anyway). Fahima means "intelligent". Okay, so maybe that's one of those inappropriate names that parents give their children hoping that it might take effect on the character. And maybe I am one of those cases where such a theory as been clearly proved wrong.

By Fahima Bintee Jamal

Teen age now from a different angle

It's funny how younger brothers and sisters seem to grow up. One second they are snotty little brats who poke their noses into your everyday business; the next second they are tall teens who have secrets of their own. Take my little sister for example. She has this diary that she keeps locked up. I can pick the lock any time and it takes all my self-restraint not to do so. Recently she has started keeping a journal in the computer. Now that she has a password, and I'm not some genius hacker, there is less temptation for me. Thank God.

She also gets calls from a guy from her class. He doesn't talk to me, of course. He hangs up the moment I answer the phone. But I know who he is I was like him not too long ago. Which is why, even though I know his identity from my sister [who claims he's her best friend], I don't beat him up. Boys will be boys, of course.

But that does not mean that we shouldn't keep an eye on things. What do you do when your younger sibling enters the messed up teen years? Well, here's what

1. The opposite sex: If you have a little brother, teach him to treat girls well. If you are a guy, tell him not to be inconsiderate. If you are a girl, well, how do you think a guy should act? Don't tell me, tell it to your little brother.

If you happen to have a little sister, no matter how much you want to tell her to stay the hell away from guys, you have to take a gentler approach. Tell them how guys are [“no matter how nice they seem, they'll always check out your vital stats”], but also let them know it's ok to have guy friends.

Of course, you siblings will have boyfriends/girlfriends along the way [come on, what did you do when you were their age?], which is why you should keep in good touch with them. Talk to them; don't be their best friend [trust me, you don't want that], but be a good enough friend to know their friends.

2. The phone issue: It was there when you were young, and it's there now. Remember you own miseries, and protect your siblings from the wrath of your parents. But warn them that you won't be able to protect forever. Set them a time limit. Tell them it's ok to talk for 15-30 minutes, but any longer than that would be really too much. What makes me think they'll listen to you when they don't listen to the parents? Well, kids look up to their older brothers and sisters. They'll listen- trust me. You might have to remind them of the rule, once or twice, but they'll heed you.

3: The Birds and the Bees: It is heard that parents are supposed to take care of this hot-around-the-collar topic, but let's face it, rarely do they do so. Although kids nowadays, bless them, find much of this stuff out by themselves, it is a good idea to give them a lecture about the birds and the bees.

And if you aren't on good enough terms to talk about responsible sexual behaviour with your little brother or sister, it's high time you got on good terms.

Kids, or people, grow up. That's the rule of the world. Even though you know little of the evils of the world, it's your duty as older siblings to warn them about any and/or all, troubles they may face.

Don't try to put them on a leash it didn't work with you when your parents tried it and it won't work now and don't force your ideologies on them.

As Dumbledore once said, “Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” I don't mean to say that we are old and all knowing. I'm merely saying that we should learn from our past.

Help your brothers and sisters, keep an eye on them and look out for them, but above all, be their friend. At least it's good practice for when you become a parent.

By Kazim Ibn Sadique

Rising Stars invites reader opinions on this issue regarding siblings. We would like to know what you feel regarding older siblings. Mail in your thoughts, advice and frustrations even. ~ RS Desk




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