Musings from Bahraini entrepreneur, design agency creative director and magazine editor, Wafa Alobaidat
When I was 14 my mother told me a story. She told me that before I was born she had a certain vision of her life that included being with my father, living in a home that she can call her own, driving a car (the color of her choice), and working in a bank. She imagined her children's names – Wafa and Mohammed – and pictured how we would look like and how we'd behave. She spent a good deal of her early married years achieving these goals and had, and as she had hoped, two kids named Wafa and Mohammed.
What she didn't visualize though was how fast she would reach these goals that she created for herself. In her mid-30s she asked herself, "Is this it? What next? What now?"
When I became a teenager, my mother and I sat down together to plot my career path and she advised me that my goals should be long term. She said, “If I achieved all I had hoped at 33 then what if I had set myself monster goals, mountain high goals, where would I be today?”
What she said struck a chord. Even if you achieve a fraction of that mountain goal, then you would have still exceeded your expectations. We are the ones who set the limits in our lives and we should never underestimate ourselves or our capabilities.
It dawned on me that I had better start mapping out my long term goals. And to this very day I am constantly adding to my list, each goal harder and more ludicrous to achieve than the next. I realized that my mother has set me in motion, to constantly keep my mind moving; my hunger to achieve vast, my ambition endless.
Many of the women that I've met recently have goals that revolve around finding a potential suitable husband, falling in love and getting married, and then their life sort of comes to a standstill after that. Many others suffer the same fate after studying at the school of their dreams, graduating with perfect GPA scores and then getting the job they always dreamed of. But then what?
You will never hear a person with a long term goal planning his retirement. His or her life continues till the very end as there is much to achieve and enough time to do so.
Wafa Alobaidat writes a bi-monthly column for Khaleejesque and muses on fashion, art, culture and culture shock in the Middle East. Wafa is also the editor of Sketchbook magazine and runs design and PR agency Obai and Hill.