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Author Archives: Nadia Aimé

Everybody feels like [a misfit] at different points in their life.

If just like me am sure at some point in your life, you are told you are weird, somewhat unusual, not good enough and this would eventually lead you to questioning who you are, usually i find asking myself why i aren’t enough? Or wondering what’s wrong with who i am? And i did at some point in times go even further and wonder what else should i do to fit in?”  

This is the internal monologue that I am sure each and everyone of us has gone through when we realise we are different from everyone and the world still tries to force us to fit into society.  

And even if we know or even been told that what others think shouldn’t always matter and it shouldn’t be a valid reason to change who we are but have you ever had that one moment where you find yourself wondering if they are right, if you should actually try being like the acceptable version the world wants you to be, almost the whole of our lives is spent on thinking about the ways we can adopt that can make us “more acceptable to the world“by the people around us. 

Is the constant struggle to fit in or to become more appreciated, liked and acceptable, the only option we are left with? Do we have any other choice? Let’s dive deeper into it!

It’s an unfortunate fact that the world we are living in is not a “world of diversity even if in today everyone claims to be all about diversity and inclusion ” for me sometimes it seems more like a “world of uniformity. The beauty of individuality, or diversity is lost in the struggle of trying to be the same as everyone else.

It’s a part of human nature to get gravitated by authenticity. But it seems like we are losing it day by day.

In life, everyone gets different opportunities depending upon the circumstances, experiences they face in their everyday life. And sometimes many of those opportunities or chances are wasted because we are afraid and even not ready to take stand for ourselves or what we believe in.

The fear of getting rejected by people who claims to know us even better than we know ourselves becomes an obstacle on the way to being our authentic selves and although this might seem unbelievable, but it’s a harsh reality that many of us are facing in our day to day lives. The constant peer pressure makes us do things or take steps that are totally against who we are. We suffer every day, with every passing second to achieve one thing: The validation or acceptance of society.  

Deep down inside, everybody knows who they are or what they want to do with their life. But the voices coming from outside diminish the inner voice of their soul.

Changing yourself for others or trimming your edges to fit in the image that someone else has pictured about you in their head is probably the worst thing one can do. Why would someone do it? Will people be happy with the changed you? 

The answer is a big “No.” Molding yourself or losing authenticity cant take you that far, I truly believe that you can never truly hide who you are at some point it will show . 

So given the two choices of fitting in or standing out, most of the people choose to fit in or get blended.  

As we all know growth can be scary and criticism can hurt, and opinions of the people around us matter to a point where we are too afraid of being called “ Misfits.” 

Fitting in for the sake of blending in costs us our uniqueness, which I truly believe is the beauty of the human soul.  

So What about the other choice? We can standout! We can be different because we are different and the beauty of individuality makes us unique and special and at the end of the day people do exhibit judgemental attitudes whenever someone decides to stand out, but here is good news for all of us there will come a point in our lives we will learn that not everyone’s opinions matter!

So Know yourself first, then stand out!

Some people decide to blend in only because they think they haven’t identified their values or what sets their soul on fire or who they truly are. They hardly have any clue about what they should exactly stand out for! The solution is straightforward! You don’t have to blend in. Brainstorm try different things, speak to people outside of your usual circle, think carefully about what inspires you, what is the meaning of life for you, Who are your role model? What sets your soul on fire? Then connect the dots, and slowly slowly build yourself, but remember this you have to be clear about what you should stand for!

Just be yourself!

Life is the sum of the conscious and unconscious choices we make every single day. Everyone has some flaws, and I do believe that there is always room for improvement. But improvement to satisfy someone else or trimming yourself or cutting your edges to fit in are two entirely different things. In cutting your edges, you will lose yourself in the process! 

I say always be open to work on a better version of you, but never lose your genuine self in the process! Because at the end of the day your own self is the only thing that you truly have. everything else is given to you and can be taken away in a flash. So That’s all we have! Standout and never fear to be yourself! There is nobody like you, and this is your real power!

So Final Verdict!

People can never be pleased with whatever you do or whoever you try to become. In striving for others’ approval and validation, your true self is lost in the process and personally the cost of getting accepted, validated, and liked by society is personally to high for me! 

It’s high because your genuine self is at risk. When a person blindly follows the path or directions set for by others, we inevitably not end up happy. So why not try being your authentic self, and if someone calls you “misfit, or weird” then welcome to the world of misfits! 

For me Misfits, are those who dare to show the world their real selves, the pain, the struggles and the wins! Misfits, are those who can take stand for what they believe in. So Have the strength to take stand for yourself.

The decision is all yours to make!

This months lesson for me is don’t ever be afraid of criticism masked in the form of feedback or advice by people who genuinely don’t know who you are, and don’t overthink whether you are accepted or not whether in your personal life or professional one.

Following your heart or not is the biggest challenge we all have to face at some point in time, so I say live your life to the full extent because we all know that life is too short to be living someones life! Seize the day!

Have the strength to live the life that you have always dreamt of and do it by being your authentic self and in return it will attract the right energy towards you.

This year is all about living authentically in all my perfect imperfections.

 “We lose the precious sense that an end is only a beginning in disguise.”

Craig D. Lounsbrough

As 2019 comes to an end, I’ve deliberately decided to slow down things and this will probably be my last blog entry of the year 2019, so decided to take some time to reflect, I truly find it important to spend a day before the end of the year to simply reflect, about my moments either good or bad but also take the time to appreciate all the little but yet somewhat big moments that were a part of my everyday life in the past year.

I don’t know about you but I truly believe that taking the time to review your year can be a great and somewhat valuable exercise to help you move forward into the future and I have to admit that I am really excited about the upcoming changes coming next year but just like every past December, we always get an opportunity to looking back and reflect over our past year and also we get the opportunity to look forward to the upcoming new year and make the necessary plan for the future.

So I would like to take a couple of minutes with you and share some of my honest thoughts and maybe reflect back on the year by asking yourself some questions and assess where are today and where you want to be tomorrow.

So here are some questions that I like to ask myself and might help you:

What was important?

As I look back on 2019, I have to admit that this year has been a lot about transiting for my son and me and the main thing that has been important to me just like any parent single or not is to be able to provide a home and safety for our children, so financial growth has been and is still is very important for me.

Sometimes we find ourselves being confronted with situations which for us are far from ideal, but for one reason or another, there isn’t anything we can do about it, I learned the importance of finding a way to making peace with this situation will be the kindest thing you can ever do for yourself and your mental health. And trust me it’s not an easy thing to do but it’s absolutely worth it.

Starting my career transition into cybersecurity, was a huge and yet exciting leap to take, but to be honest quite scary jumping into the unknown and being a beginner, because for a long time I was afraid of doing things wrong but the thing that has helped me through this transition is the fact that I am not doing it alone, seeing the women in my program going through the same beginner transition after being experts in their fields has helped me embrace and appreciate being a beginner because we are doing it together.

What were the successes?

This year I learned the importance of documenting my journey and thoughts on my blog, and the discipline and enjoyment I have found from writing have been truly amazing in helping me structure my thoughts and I plan to continue blogging in 2020.

On the entrepreneurship front, 2019 has been a productive year, and I am truly grateful for that because like I have said so many times my life turned out beyond my expectations.

Over the years I have given speeches and to be honest I found out that I loved speaking and connecting with different people but more so ever I realized that my journey and story was something that I had to share with the world and motivate those that feel like their Now Is Going To Become Their Forever, this is why I decided to seek help after I saw the impact of having someone coach you during my Ted Talk (Yes I still can’t believe I gave a ted talk) and as I get better I am still convinced it’s absolutely not possible to ever completely get over your fear of public speaking you just have to embrace and use it.

For me, one of the best successes was teaching stem activities is that I got to teach and connect with kids from different backgrounds and together we got to take new challenges, and solve them together and it was actually the moment I got to feel like I am actually making a difference.

What would I do differently?

Next year I truly want to embrace the notion of traveling, because despite traveling for work I never actually get to explore the places I visit and simply be a tourist, for me, I have a problem in just being in situations that make me feel vulnerable and it’s absolutely something I want to get rid of and enjoy a life of travel and explore the wonders of the world.

I think that it’s great to be friends with your colleagues’ partners etc… but something I realized this year is I need to surround myself with other types of people who have different passions and I especially those that I don’t work or collaborate with them, and have them be simply friends who help you grow.

What or who am I most thankful for?

I have to say that I am thankful to be able to live a life where I get to share my gifts with the world.

I am thankful for having my son who I get the joy of watching him grow and become his own person and man what a person he will become, he’s barely two and is already giving me a glimpse of what a character he will become and I guess like all moms I can’t wait to finally start talking tech, or who is the best avengers I can’t wait.

I AM ANTICIPATING FOR 2020

Like, everyone, I know that can December often becomes overwhelming with Christmas shopping, finishing up projects for the end of the year, and so on but I do challenge you to spend some time to reflect on where you are coming from and where you want to go.

Feel free to use my questions or come up with your own or even google ideas to help you and please do take some time to think of the year that was, whatever you experienced it be experiencing successes beyond your expectations or you simply went through something that made you a stronger version of yourself, remember that with every experience that you endure you will see that it will eventually teach you something, as long as you are willing to accept and learn from it.

And remember every end marks some sort of new beginning for every one of us, so never let your spirit be broken, you have to keep your spirits and determination unbroken because that’s the secret to overcoming diversity, and whatever happened to you in yesterday the only way to move forward into the future is by letting go of the past and taking this opportunity to start off new… After all, that is why it is called the ‘New’ Year.

So I wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It’s not about how bad you want it. It’s about how hard you’re willing to work to get it.

When I decided to transition into career I was aware of the commitment and struggles that would come with going back to school, and to be honest that scared me because from what I remember I was never the brightest in class from my little school experience and I have to admit that I wasn’t the most was patient of students either and I really struggled with the theoretical parts of education while all I wanted to do was get down to the practical side and start doing something that had immediate results and now transitioning into cybersecurity where my first thought that about the infosec world was that it was all about hacking or breaking into things from day one, but to my surprise that’s the least you get to do and it’s more about learning how different technology (and the people who use them for good or bad) work which means that there is a hell a lot of theory of 900 pages to learn. (I have no regrets 😉

As a student who has a soon to be two years old and a full-time social/tech entrepreneurship venture that very recently become very demanding where I found myself having to travel, collaborate with different countries(funny how life is), but I have to admit that the hardest part hasn’t been learning about cybersecurity or actually attending my courses which despite everything that’s going on I am actually proud to say that I have 100% attendance, for now, fingers crossed, the challenge has been finding out that I actually don’t know how to study and keeping a balance between home, school, and my career.

Between working during the day and maybe a few hours in the evening for school pickups, dinner and some mom time with my son, that usually leads to me being beyond exhausted by the time my son goes to bed, the one thing I usually look forward to by that time is to turn on Netflix on and just zone out with a show and the last thing that’s definitely not on my mind is opening up my SSCP book and even when I actually forced myself to actually do it, I would usually fall asleep within 20min !

You would think that I am not committed to my career transition, but I am actually very committed to seeing this through and actually becoming a kick-ass security engineer, but the thing is for someone who dropped out of school, and being mostly self-taught throughout my entire career until now I see the different skills I would have acquired if I had actually gone to school.

So this is why I decided to reach out to different students in my network and ask them about their study style and also reached out to other single moms who just like me decided to go back to school to be able to offer their family a better life and how they manage it all, I received great resources and advice and having that in mind, I realized that I needed to find my learning style, talking to them made realize that I had to find a way to study my theoretical subjects with the help practical tools and I had to experiment to find a way that works for me.

The thing is when you already have a busy schedule, especially as a parent adding studying something new into your life can seem crazy, but i truly believe that there is no mountain too tall to overcome all you need is passion and commitment to finding the solution that gets you where you want to be and that’s why decided to share my current struggles and challenges when it comes to following your passion when you are already busy with life and work.

Here are my five steps to finding a balance in my so hectic life.

Having To Say NO

The first thing I had to do was talk to my friends, colleagues, and partners about my new student status which meant I was not going to be as available as I used to be, I had to still stick to all my professional commitments that I had accepted for November, but going forward I find myself having to turn down so many amazing opportunities that I dreamed about but accepting and attending them would then result in me not keeping up with my study commitment.

Being More Disciplined

I actually had to create and prepare a time management schedule and learn to be disciplined enough to stick to it. Being able to create this plan I had to asses exactly how I spent my time every day and I found out that by waking up early and doing everything I have to do I can actually dedicate two to three hours a day to go through my SSCP material on weekdays, then four to six hours on the weekends when my son is napping.

Do Not Compromise

It’s already hard to be disciplined in different areas of our lives on a day t day basis but the moment we accept to compromise because it might seem important or you might just do it this once and get back on track the next day, as tempting as it might seem, do not compromise when it comes to your study time or anything you are looking to achieve in life.

Don’t Push Your Mental Health Over The Edge

We are familiar with the feelings of stress and anxiety which are a huge part of our life and it could be so easy to push ourselves to a point of return because we have limited time to reach our goal, or we might feel under pressure, and we forget to be kind to yourself especially our mental well-being. I have the type of personality that when I am doing something or learning something I usually live, breath and dream it and this could be good but it can easily become damaging so it’s important to have a balance and my son is my reminder to stop and let my brain take a break.

Let’s Have More Fun

Like anything in life we learn best when we are actually having fun

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

And If you ever find yourself getting drowned with all stress mental, physical or financial, don’t ever be afraid to reach out to people for help, whether it’s asking a friend to take on temporary babysitting duties or asking a LinkedIn connection in the same field that you are in for additional support or clarification, so often people surprise you with the support they are willing to give you knowing that you’re striving to achieve your goals.

Final Note…

If you are like me and you find yourself embarking on this crazy journey, remember that for so many people it’s not easy finding the famous work-life-study that fits us perfectly, but the thing to remember we aren’t the first ones to embark on this journey either many people have managed successfully to do it whether they were single parents working full time or running their businesses, and it’s up to us to learn from their successes and even more their errors.

‘There are some days when I wake up feeling like I shouldn’t be where I am.

This month has been one of success from all the hard work from the previous 4 years since I started my social/tech entrepreneurship journey and I suddenly find myself asking why is all this happening NOW? And when I find myself not being able to answers the question that’s when I let the voice of doubt and feelings of impostor syndrome slowly seep in.

And It’s actually something so many of us deal with, especially entrepreneurs or working parents we find ourselves letting that voice of doubt sometimes speaks loudly, telling us we didn’t deserve the glory, we are frauds, or simply why us?

But before I go digging further what exactly does Impostor Syndrome exactly means here is the definition…

“Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.”

Source impostor syndrome – Wikipedia

To be honest there are days I often forget where I am and still feel like that homeless teenager at heart, lost, vulnerable and sometimes trying to play this grownup version of myself that the world sees as an ambitious young entrepreneur who actually knows what she’s doing.

Even though today I am a soon to be a 26-year-old, who has managed with the power of God accomplished so many things beyond my expectation and I won’t say that it was easy even more since I become a mom and had to work out that famous work/life balance, It’s so easy to sometimes feel like I’m neglecting my son on my pursuit of our happiness so when I do get praised for my work, somewhere deep inside I still find myself constantly feeling like an impostor

Welcome to the internal struggles of a working parent with impostor syndrome.

Dealing with impostor syndrome doesn’t make you weak

Between dealing with our work obligations and being there for our kids, partner, family or even friends, running our household, finding time for ourselves we find ourselves being more than ever stretched too thin and to add to that when you throw in the very unrealistic perfection set by social media today, i am actually not surprised that we find ourselves suffering from Impostor Syndrome .

I remember reading a  published a research paper which had Initially theorized that women were uniquely affected by this and it was letter discovered that actually both men and women experience this feeling and that it can affect anybody who isn’t able to come to terms their own achievements but that doesn’t make you weak or ungrateful.

Here are some tips I have found on how to combat my impostor syndrome

In life, we will always find ourselves having doubts about ourselves, choices, our abilities, and our qualities. But that doesn’t mean that we have to let our doubts hold us back and prevent us from reaching your destination. 

1. First I Realized Nobody Is Perfect But I am Enough

Nobody is perfect, and everyone is enough and unique. Are you trying to be someone you’re not is that really the way you want to waste your life? We feel pressured to be what society wants us to be to the point that we want to live a fantasy perfection

2. Mind Over Matter

Our mindset can do great wonders or cause the worst damages. This is the most tricky part because sometimes, life puts us in such situations is really hard not to think that life sucks, and I’m sure yours does sometimes, too. But it can easily become spiral that can lead to us even when we accomplish something good we can’t even recognize it.

3. It’s Okay To Open Up To Someone

For many us especially for me I have always struggled about speaking up about this types of subject, I usually feel more comfortable talking about a problem that I have already tackled and found a solution, and it took me a very long time break this vicious cycle, it took so many people coming up to me and asking about it, that I realized the importance of being honest about either our entrepreneurship, motherhood, fatherhood struggles so that others would you know that there are not alone.

4. Own and Appreciate yourself!

Have you ever found yourself receiving a compliment from someone and being unable to accept it, sometimes it’s hard to accept or even see the good about yourself but the thing is someone else saw it and decided to give you that compliment and by accepting it are you permitting yourself to own your greatness and what’s that wrong with that?

5. Mistakes are okay if you learn from them!

Everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes are a part of life and from my experience are one of the greatest life lessons we can ever learn from. Nobody will live through their life without making any mistakes.

But the thing about mistakes, it doesn’t mean that you are not good enough. It merely means that you human and it’s proof of your efforts in becoming who you want to be. With the realization that mistakes are inevitable, you have to understand that it doesn’t make you a failure or an impostor.

6. You are not alone!

Maya Angelou once said, “I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”

Just remember whenever you have thoughts like you somehow got the job but don’t deserve, or you feel super uncomfortable when someone praises or encourages you, and when you think a fear of being “ found out or exposed” , you are not alone. Almost 70% of people report experiencing Impostor Syndrome at some point in their career and personal lives. It’s so widely spread but not openly spoken about.

Many of us struggle with impostor syndrome to some degree, and it can be difficult to overcome those feelings of self-doubt. But, the important thing to remember is that even though it might feel like it, you’re not the only one, many people around you are going through it too.

And something that helps me, is by remembering that I have accomplished a lot to this day, while I may not see myself as an expert in every aspect in my life, all I need to do is believe in my skills and vision that I have for myself and believe that I am worthy and worked hard to be where I am today!

In the Zulu tribe, the word for ‘hello’ is ‘Sawubona,’ which means “I see you” and the response, ‘Ngikhona’ means “I am here.”

With the ever-rising technology in this digital era, humans are becoming more distant from each other. We, find ourselves becoming numb to our surroundings and other peoples feelings, happiness, and sadness.

The ability to be able to put oneself in another person’s place and feel the way they are supposed to feel is diminishing day by day. Our society has lost the beauty of being there for others. Empathy has become an extinct trait in this hassle of winning. The superpower of empathy that is a part of human nature is declining!

While a large majority of people around the world are capable of empathy, on a fun note did you know that only 98% of people (the exceptions include those with psychopathic tendencies) have the ability to be empathic so sometimes the practice of it is limited, but what is empathy, and why is it important?

So What Exactly Is Empathy(In My View)?

Empathy for me has always been about having the capability to emotionally understand what another person is experiencing, and it’s more about looking at others through their eyes, and not yours.

Empathy in a more technical term, is being aware of the feelings and emotions of other people and It is a crucial element of emotional intelligence, the link between ourselves and other people because it is through empathy we, as individuals, understand what others are going through as if we were feeling it ourselves.

To empathize is to be able to get into another person’s world and build a connection with them both emotionally and compassionately. We don’t have to agree with them entirely or fully understand them or even like them to be able to be empathetic towards them.

What Empathy Is Not?

Empathy is often misunderstood, it’s not about feeling sympathy, pity, agreeing towards someone’s situation, it’s not about sharing your own experiences by the phrase that I guarantee you we have all found ourselves saying or hearing more than once “Yes, that happened to me too” many of us confuse this action by being empathetic towards someone situation, but half of the time how the other person feels is you are saying, to them is that “Your struggle is not unique. It happens to all of us. And that’s not what empathy is”

How is empathy the world’s best superpower?

When I was younger I remember wanting to have superman superpowers how cool would it be too able to fly. But now I am all grown up and still secretly still wish for his powers, but over the years I discovered that we as humans have our own superpowers already built within us and being able to be empathic is even a more powerful skill to have in today’s world.

We need more empathy in our world

In 2006, President Barack Obama spoke of an “empathy deficit” that the world is currently experiencing. He stated, “We should talk more about our empathy deficit—the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us—the child who’s hungry, the steelworker who’s been laid-off, the family who lost the entire life they built together when the storm came to town. When you think like this—when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers—it becomes harder not to act; harder not to help.” source

The delusion of being self-sufficient is killing empathy. Every one of us is different! We think; differently, we act differently, but one thing that is common in all of us is the inner superpower of empathy. Unfortunately, since his speech in 2006, the empathy deficit has grown over time, more and more people and business have become numb to the needs and sufferings of the world.

If we continue to build a society that lacks empathy in its foundation, a lot can go wrong

Can we really blame Technology For empathy deficit

According to the Global Risks Report 2019, technology is actually making the world more anxious, less connected, unhappy, and the rise of people feeling lonely is higher than ever especially within my generation, but can we really blame technology? Because after all technology is just a tool that is technically morally neutral and completely dependent on us the users, so we have a choice on how we use this tool,

From my view as a person working in technologies I believe that in our generation and future generations coming, is we need technology, and we don’t know or remember a life where we never had it; and let’s be honest technology makes our lives easier and more efficient in so many ways. It has provided us especially people like me opportunities to learn skills that we wouldn’t have access to without technology.

It also helps connects us to each other, being able to connect with people who live across the world is absolutely empowering and amazing, so we can’t really blame technology for the destructive ways it’s being used and it’s up to us to mind the way we use technology and teach our children and those around us on how to use technology for good.

Practicing Empathy As an Entrepreneur or Technologist

Empathy within the entrepreneurship and tech world is absolutely important and is the backbone of entrepreneurship and creating digital tools is to solve existing pain that we have identified and this can not work without understanding those people that are involved, from shareholders or investors to employees and customers, this why encourages any entrepreneur or technologist to work on their empathy skills so that they can be in tune with the perspectives and needs of the people who will be your users or clients.

My Tips On How to be more empathetic

  • Practice being more grateful for whatever you have. With more acceptance comes more compassion.
  • Practice mindfulness meditation. The power of visualization helps a lot in placing yourself in others’ places.
  • Interact with more people around you. Identify the specific situations and relationships where more empathy is needed, get in touch with those people, and let them know that you are there for them. Empathy may be required in the form of an apology, appreciation, or acknowledgment in a relationship, start working on it with the most important people in your life. Help people feel seen and heard.
  • Listen More Than You Speak One of the best ways to express empathy towards people is by asking them how they are feeling and actually listen to them. We need to develop the ability to let people speak their minds.
  • Never Make Assumptions because When you make an assumption towards someones situation, the understanding you get is never accurate to the problem the person is facing. As a result, you can’t empathize in the right way.

Get started now!

Empathy is a skill I value as an entrepreneur and technologist and has a human being. As time goes on, and we move into an ever more connected world, empathy is the tool that will let us lay a better foundation for the future.

So In this empathy and compassion deficient world, be brave enough to see what others are going through around you and the world. See, feel, listen, and understand what’s in front of you. Don’t be blind to others’ people pain & challenges.

Our future doesn’t need more successful professionals. It needs more empathic leaders who understand the value of empathy.

Remember that some of the most brilliant people in the world are self-taught…..

Over the years I have sort of became an expert on finding the best way to self teach myself technical skills, with my willingness and desire to learn how technology works has been the key to building my career and helping those that want to get started.

This year I started learning Python due to my recent career change into cyber-security and after having a few discussions with different type of profiles within the field and having my instructor confirm on what language is essential to know to be able to work in a technical field within cyber-security , the conclusion was that Python is a great programming language to learn.

So what exactly is Python?

Python is a high-level, object-oriented, interpreted programming language, which has garnered worldwide attention. If this doesn’t mean anything to you,what you need to take away from this section is that Python is a programming language used to develop software on the web and in app form, including mobile. It’s also used within Cyber-security and Data science fields for data manipulation or automation for example.

Python was created by a developer called Guido Van Rossum.

In the past 11 months I have discovered that there are a couple of excellent tools and libraries used in Python, and surprisingly it’s actually has vibrant, global developer community(Mostly Men though i wonder why?) around it. Also i believe that by learning Python it will definitely give me or you an edge if you are looking to have a more technical career within cyber-security.

My philosophy has always been that you can’t really understand or even learn anything until you get your hands dirty by actually writing those lines of code and eventually messing up like everyone and then spending hours,days fixing it and then discovering the rush that comes with this process, just simply looking at the code or copying and pasting it won’t help you learn or understand what is actually happening behind the scene.

So after doing extensive research and speaking to different profiles and finally making the decision to pursue my Python journey, i decided to go back to the first place that helped me get into tech in the first place “Codecademy” which truly takes to heart my belief of “learning by doing” philosophy.

The great thing about Codecademy is you get to learn by tackling different assignments and challenges that help you understand what makes python or any other programming language works. But to my surprise they also went on and creating a PRO subscription membership which is absolutely fine they have to earn money some how but this means you don’t get access to some of the features that can help you dive deeper into the language.

And if things got difficult to understand, or i simply need more challenges or projects , I would find other resources such as Stack Overflow and Quora, Google,Reddit etc… to help me fully understand. And when I was able to actually write my first python code or when I was able to write a function that found the sum of all prime numbers, or solving my Hacker Rank challenges without any help all this was only possible because i practiced and like any other skill you might want to learn, takes practice, practice and more practice, working on these different projects, and challenges has truly been a huge help in keeping my focus and every milestone or problem solved is the reason why i am still here, motivated in my learning journey.

So, after I finished Codecademy free python course, I wanted and needed more, but the one things that I learnt over time, was that for every paid version of some course you find online to teach you a coding skill, there is an equally as good resources available which is completely free that also offers you just the same knowledge –all you have to do is go on Google and dig around for it and to be honest most of the time you don’t have to to dig at all – there are that many quality free resources on coding groups on LinkedIn or Facebook groups from beginners just like us that you can join and i bet that there is someone who has already build a resource library that he or she would be willing to share with others.

I recently began learning how to run “Python Scripts” on Real Python this involves creating mini-scripts to automate certain tasks which apparently makes your work quiet easier, i know that i am no where near close to being a Python expert, but I’m slowly making progress each day, being a beginner again, trust me i know that learning to code, can be quite and exciting adventure but it also comes with a few low moments of utter frustration, but if coding is truly something that you are a passionate about, don’t let that stop you from pursing it, i believe from my past experience that it gets better and more adventurous as we move on from newbie to an expert.

Some additional resources that i am using to learn:

  1. Code With Codecademy
  2. Dataquest – Python Programming Fundamentals.
  3. Cybrary Course: Python for Cyber Security Professionals(Pro version only and that’s a shame)— https://www.cybrary.it/course/python/
  4. Automate the Boring Stuff Online Book — https://automatetheboringstuff.com/
  5. Cracking the Code with Python Online Book — https://inventwithpython.com/cracking/
  6. Python Crash Course: A Hands-on, Project-based Introduction to Programming
  7. For Coding you have Hacker Rank challenges which are absolutely great to practice what you read or learnt.

Now that I’ve shared with you how I have been learning Python and the resources I’ve used, If you have other resources that can help me improve my Python skills please do recommend them to me!

The road to success for anyone is not going to be easy, but i believe with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to reach the destination called success.

Everyone of us is in some kind of pursuit of success. You can’t deny it we all want to be successful and feel successful. And that pursuit might be different for all of us some chase money, or fame, power, getting good grades, having a successful relationships and so much more but along the road of this pursuit have you ever stopped to ask yourself: What, success actually means to you?

There is nobody on this planet who has not heard the word” success” or unfamiliar with it, so many of us pursue it with such passion or even pure obsession over it, and it’s not only limited to us adults but even our own children these days are often exposed to the word “success” often even from a very young age.

Having a vision, is the first step to reaching the door of success, but without a vision, plan and destination in mind how will you ever know when you’ve arrived? And the thing that often happens along the road is we end up blindly trying to pursue and achieve traditional view of success: which from what you can see is money, fame and power, but if that is truly what achieving success is why is it then that so many celebrities and public figures who have managed to achieve all these things seem so unhappy?

I keep using him as a reference but Jim Carrey once said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

By choosing to live our lives this way, we are actually living a life that is not our own Is this really success? Well, let’s dig a deeper into it to know what success means and how one can define we can achieve our own version of success based on our personality, nature, goals, and mindset.

What is success?

There is no one hard answer to define what success is; instead, it’s subjective!

The definition of success, has as many definitions as there are people on this planet in my opinion it vary from person to person.there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer because we are all different, experiencing different things and living different situations and beyond that we all have different values and goals you might find for one person, success might mean earning millions, or being able to travel whenever they like or simply being able to put a roof and feed their family every day is to be successful.

What Success Isn’t

Thanks to social media especially Instagram many of us get too see a flawed version of success in that is so far away from the actual meaning of what it really means to reach personal success! If like me you spend some time on social media, you came across people who have a very narrow version of success. Its all about having fame, money, and power! Having that #couplegoals perfect relationship, making and spending money on stuff, and sharing their so-called achievements on social media for the world too see is what success means!

And there is absolutely wrong for those that choose to do this until we have the younger generation going to this platforms and getting influenced on what success is and to me this is where it all goes wrong! Attaching our success materialistic “stuff” will undoubtedly end in hopelessness and disappointment, which at the end of the day is not success at all!

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

Maya Angelou

What success means to me?

But if you had asked me this question a couple of years I ago when I was younger, my answer would have been completely different, so depending on the moment of your life you are in the definition of success will keep changing over time. It took time to learn that it’s not about having material or having thousands of followers those things and go, but it was actually about having a clearly defined purpose in our life and I believe you are successful when you have found that purpose and commit your life to it.”

Today success for me is doing what brings me joy and sets my brain on fire while still being authentic and true to me and my values

I small trick that has worked for me over the years I usually have a check-in with myself at the beginning of the new year I usually take a moment before going back to work and ask the following questions:

  • Does this still make happy?
  • What was not success that I thought was and what did I learn from achieving ?
  • What truly matters to me?
  • Who am i really ?
  • What my values?
  • What are the things that set soul on fire?
  • What do i want to make of my life?
  • What type lifestyle do you want to achieve?
  • Who do you want to be?

I won’t say I had this definition from the very start! It took a lot of time and mistakes, following other peoples definition of success to finally realizing that I am the only one who is going to define what success means to me!

Success is unique to all of us so have own definition of success!

Starting from our early childhood, all the way to our adulthood, we come across different definitions, versions, and ideas about success from our parents, teachers, and friends. Everyone has their own idea of what success should be. It’s good to value others’ opinions and ideas but never allow anyone to impose their definition of success on you!

Don’t let what you see on your social media also impose their version of success on you. Be more self-aware!

That’s a wrap

At the end of the day everyone wants to reach their fullest potential and be happy and fulfilled in what ever they are doing and everyone of us want to be successful and feel successful and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but before chasing the money,power, fame, relationships, stop for a second and ask yourself what success means to you and the key to finding what success means to you, is to check-in in with the real you and start the process of elimination to finding who and who you are not.

So really take the time to ask yourself what success really means and looks like to you, and make your own list for your personal and professional life and see if it relates to your day-to-day life, and remember If you don’t create your definition of success, someone else will define it for you, someone else will have the power to set your goals, desires, ambitions, and your happiness and life is too short to be living someone else’s life!

I truly believe to accomplish any things we must first dream it, then visualize it, then plan it…then act on it

Every one of us has some goals, ambitions, targets, and dreams, weather it’s asking for a raise or funding, quit smoking or finally starting your own business. NO matter the goal big or small, having goals in mind give us a sense of purpose, but unfortunately, some of us remain stuck at the beginning of the goal. We always start out with the best intentions and perhaps even a great plan to achieve that goal, but that’s it, we can’t seem to make it past that stage.

Have you ever noticed that only how some people seem to be succeeding in achieving their goal? You might be questioning weather they have some magic trick that help them?

Well, the trick lies in their mindset that, their so much power in our own mind, beliefs carry great power to achieving anything we could ever dream about. A person’s thoughts and mindset makes a difference and increases or decreases their chances of succeeding in anything .

The more you believe in what you set yourself to do, the more more motivated and determined you will be to achieve it!

This is a simple rule. Positive thoughts play a pivotal role in determining our success. i bet you have heard this saying so many times “If you can dream it, you can achieve it!” Do you agree with this statement?

Well, there is actually truth to this, positive thinking or mindset is not a fantasy. Think about it besides having a positive mindset helps us improve our mental health and general wellness, having positive mindsets actually helps boost our confidence and not just that, it also improves our everyday interactions and relationships we have with other people.

So if Science says, yes! And psychologists support the idea of the power of visualization and actually recommend to make it habit. Why is it so hard for some of us to do it ?

So Why should you visualize?

We all know that nurturing your mind with positive thoughts is the most powerful thing we can do to live a healthy life.

Our mindset is a crucial factor that determines our success or failure. All the top performers, entrepreneurs, have a habit of picturing themselves at the end of the rainbow,so basically they see themselves succeeding in their minds before they do it in reality.

This is what we call Visualization! And in a more technical term creative visualization is the technique of building in your imagination a visual scene of your goal.

Don’t base your happiness on the visualized goal.

Most of us make the mistake that we need to reach our goals before feeling fulfilled. But if you are like me more often that’s not the case every time we reach the goal, because most of the time when we finally manage to achieve that desired goal, we sometimes end up finding out that achieving it wasn’t as great as we thought that it would actually be, but before we know it, there we go again working towards another goal, with the hope that this will be the one to bring us the sense of fulfillment that the other goal failed to give us .

As you can see this can actually become quite a vicious cycle that repeats its self over and over again, and some of us end up going through life with that feeling of being empty or unfulfilled.

I stopped basing my happiness on my achievement of my goal, and instead I fell in love with the process that came with it. Because without the process, no goal can be achieved. And only through the process, will you learn how you truly feel about your goal.

Visualization is for everyone!

If you can’t picture yourself in your mind reaching that desired goal, delivering the best speech, transitioning successfully into your desired career, dominating your industry, or running a phenomenal business, then the chances are you never will. Having a visual goal in your mind helps you believe that no matter what comes in your way the outcome is possible, and it helps you keep faith in the process and fuels you to keep going no matter what. And visualization also applies to any area of our life! Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, single parent, etc. Building this habit helps your mind go through a rehearsal before actually reaching that desired goal.

When you are mentally prepared and ready, you always do better. Seeing the best version of yourself motivates us to become the best!

One of my favorite reference of visualization is the actor Jimmy Carrey has always emphasized on the importance of positive Visualization in one of speeches. He used to imagine himself as a successful actor even when he was going through the hard struggling phase of his career. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali used to visualize himself as the champion before going for the fight. Visualization gave him the power to win and making his mark all over the world.

Making Visualization work: From imagination to reality!

Just visualizing things without acting upon them is called a dream. Both our thoughts and actions go side by side. They work best in parallel.

Just has it can be a habit it can also be the barrier that holds us back some of us have fallen into the trap of visualizing our failure or rejection before it actually happens, Please don’t be that person.

Try to make it a habit of thinking and imagining only what you want to achieve and avoid over thinking about the things that you do not want to see happening.

We all worry that’s part of being human, but the one thing I try to avoid these days is visualizing my failure, at the end of the day none of us want attract failure but that’s whay you get by continually thinking of them.

You need to learn to stop worrying and think about all the positive events that you want in reality. It will make you happy, motivated, and more focused. Visualize and then start taking action. Don’t just stop at the first step.

So What Are The Benefits of Creative Visualization From My Experience

  • It gave me clarity

When you take out the time to think and ponder upon what you want to happen in your life and what you don’t, this gives a lot of clarity. Having a visual goal, has been a powerful tool that has helped me stay on track in my life’s mission, it has also helped me set my goals because I have already seen what and whom I need to achieve my goal and these reduces the risk of wasting your time and effort on things that actually get you no where.

Visualization has served as a filter for distinguishing between what’s necessary and what’s not in my life. Once you make it a habit you are no longer confused about the direction to fulfilling your dreams!

  • It Us Empowered and Motivated Me Through My Journey

 Over the years, I’ve been a school dropout, homeless, gone bankrupt, and I’ve had some really amazing years and I’ve had some of the worst years in my life. But through all that if I never had visualized what I wanted out of this life, I have to admit that I would have given up so long ago, I got live inside of those visions during my worst times and got to feel empowered every time I realized that I am living in the moment I had in visioned that for me.

  • It had helped me focuses

One of the main problems many us face when setting goals is that at some point we end up loosing focus, becoming distracted by the events going on in our lives. So I actually started a vision board that helped me to focus my mind on the process and even when I do get distracted by what is happening around me I always go back to my vision board and I back on track.

  • It Helped Me Boosts My Creativity

When it comes to Visualization, you realize that unlike the real world your mind gives you a space where your options are limitless. And this where I let my imagination and ideas go crazy. Visualization gives the power to create your masterpiece from scratch. It serves as a brain-storming tool giving you new ideas of creativity,problem solving, innovation, and transformation.

Bottom line!

All of us are different and adopt different ways of doing things. Some people can visualize everything easily, while others can only picture a vague image of their desires.

Well, that’s okay!

With this article I would like to remind you that just like me YOU have the power to access your imagination to visualize and actualize your greatest dreams and goals.

However we define what Success is, remember it never far from you. Believe it! Once you start seeing it, you are on the right track to working towards your desired outcome, and visualization is just there to prepare your mind for the upcoming action, way before the real action happens