By Younas Chaudhary
- There is always something bigger and better ahead waiting for you
One of the darkest days of my life happened in 1972, when I was let go from the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) at Kakul, just four months before my passing out date to become a Lieutenant. I was dismissed with no reason given to me.
Totally devastated, I packed my belongings, and I took a bus and a train home to Sahiwal. My parents were shockingly surprised to see me as they were not expecting me. They were hoping that their son would soon be an officer in the military, a coveted position those days.
I was totally dejected, but my parents told me repeatedly: “There is something much larger, bigger and better waiting for you in the near future, Younas. Trust on God’s miracles. Don’t you worry of anything.”
These magical words gave me some hope. But, despite my parents’ consolation, I initially couldn’t control my anger, agony of loss, sorrow, and frustration. My parents were very concerned, and they kept a close watch on me as they thought that I may hurt myself.
Looking back, I can tell you that my life changed quickly for the better. Exactly as my parents said, a year later, I was on my way to Canada, a journey that would change my destiny forever. Today, I am humbled as I am simply way more than blessed.
When you feel low, and you are immersed in the agony of defeat, always believe in yourself, and trust that God has great things planned for you which are bigger and better. I am a witness to his blessings.
My parents’ advice and actions have stayed with me throughout my life whenever I lost a deal or when I faced serious challenges in my personal life and in business. I don’t worry too much about my failures. Instead, I reflect on them as minor tests and hiccups, and try my best to fix and understand them, if it is in my control. Otherwise, I wait for something bigger and better as God has planned for me.
- You don’t need to go to Harvard to provide wise counseling
My wife was a simple woman who went to a remote village school. Her school never taught English, so she always had a hard time reading and writing English. She didn’t fully understand what businesses I was in. However, she was the most hospitable, modest, and kind-hearted person in the world.
Whenever I took major decisions in life or business, I always sought her counsel. She gave me the most brilliant but simple answers that even my most well-trained co-workers could never give. She would tell me with brutal honesty whether I was about to do the right thing or the wrong thing. In almost all areas where I had asked her for counsel, she was right most of the time. She helped me make good and wise decisions in life. Today, I miss that advice.
- There is nothing wrong in being thrifty
I grew up in a remote village where our resources were limited, so my mother was big on being thrifty. She hated waste and taught us that food should never be thrown away. If I didn’t eat something, she would ask me to give the food to birds or animals.
In life and in business, I’ve been very cautious about spending money. My mother taught me to live a frugal lifestyle and I carry her principles to this day. So, even in my current circumstances, if I am on the North side of Houston, I will make sure to fill up my Ferrari there as gas is substantially cheaper in that side of town. Though, my kids that were raised here make fun of me!
- Always let humility guide you
I have traveled the world in luxury, stayed at the best hotels, and enjoyed eating at the finest restaurants. On the other hand, whenever I travel to remote areas, I will stay in local hotels, like a Holiday Inn. I can easily adjust myself to any place and any environment. I have no issues sleeping on the floor, buying groceries from a corner store, or eating food from a drive through during any of my travels.
My father was a very simple man with limited means and with little education. He taught me to be simple, straight forward, and humble. I observed and learned from his simple, no frills, happy lifestyle where he cared for others more than himself and rarely splurged on anything for himself.
- Practice daily acts of kindness
Growing up in Pakistan, I was surrounded by simple villagers who showed me daily acts of kindness.
I received the most profound advice of my youth from simple, down to earth people who had limited education and very limited resources. They changed the trajectory of my personal life. Blessings.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.