Viewing entries tagged


What are you giving more weight to?

On this beautiful Friday morning, I went to my favorite coffee shop to read, catch-up on personal stuff and drink real good coffee before I dived into work. I was feeling good and I was envisioning the good day I was about to have. 

I get on a call with my mom then the person infront of me stares at me for a good minute. I thought he may be interested in the language I was speaking, Arabic. But then he interrupts my call by asking if i'm on a conference-call. Confused by this question, he follows up by saying I just ruined his peace and I should't be talking here. I responded, with being so caught off guard, saying but this is a public coffee shop.

He continued to say how I ruined his morning and how I should be quiet. I told him that i'm going to continue my call and he has problems and should work on himself. A fire inside me started rising. I was pissed off and my happy morning wasn't going as planned. He looked at me in disgust, got up and moved tables. 

I shut the phone with my mother and just sat there feeling so shot down asking myself what did I do to this man? and the angry side in me wanted to piss him off. 

Ten minutes later, I couldn't shake it off. I felt the negative energy around me. Then this great guy who works at the coffee shop started talking to me (without knowing what just happened) and said he would love to share some of the figs he just grew.

I looked at him and just wanted to hug him. I knew his fig tree wasn't that big (because how big of a fig tree can you really have in the middle of DC?) but it meant so much to see such a random act of kindness. 

Being positive is constant work, like caring for a plant. It needs to be watered daily. 

Being positive is constant work, like caring for a plant. It needs to be watered daily. 

I started to feel the negativity peeling away and I immediately saw a very clear choice: I either give the negative situation or the positive situation weight. Which one was I going to choose? Was I going to let the rude coffee shop guy ruin my day or was I going to let the incredibly kind gesture of the fig sharing make my day?

Ofcourse, I chose the fig sharing. 

Moral of the story is, everything is a choice. You have a choice to be happy or not, to invest in the negative or the positive. It is always up to you and never think otherwise. You are in control.

With An Appreciative Mind,




Maximim Impact, Minimum Effort

Moving to Washington DC was by far the best decision i've ever taken. Why? Because it provided me with the ecosystem for me to unleash myself personally and professionally. It gave me the opportunity to invest in the “Who are you not to do this?” rather than the typical “Who do you think you are to do this?” as I mentioned in my interview with Laura Lee Designs (more can be found here). 

Today I am so proud of myself to say that I am doing everything that I want. I am in a job that I deeply love with a boss that supports my growth in every aspect and challenges me to grow. I am in some aspects paid to do the things I love after my 9 - 5 job which is dining, eating, writing and shopping. I express myself creatively through my art and further writing. I connect with communities and help spark some form of inspiration through my motivational speaking. 

In summary i'm a social entrepreneur, artist, food critic, writer and motivational speaker. and more importantly I am a woman who has time for herself, for her loving family, friends, spirituality and ofcourse a very important factor - sleep. and I do all this while tackling a health condition - Arthritis. 

Photography by Megan Won

Many people have asked me but Aida there are 24 hours in a day how can you do all of these things? and to do them well?  My answer is 1+1=3. The meaning for this equation will have a separate blog post but for now here are a few rules I stick by to keep me going, expanding and achieving:

  1. Strong passion is essential. If I do not love or am passionate about what I am doing, it will be considered work and my goal is to live life without a single day of work. Passion somehow pumps a much needed energy into a person and attracts great opportunities. 
  2. Have clear intentions. knowing the reasons why you want to do what you are planning really makes the path much easier and fuels you with an energy that is unmeasurable. Life also works better with you when you have clear intentions. 
  3. Track your progress. I start every morning with my famous tracker- the tracker that has every aspect of my life where I list everything I am working on and write down the achievements/plans of the day. 
  4. Small progress is what keeps you motivated. Tracking is essential not only so you know where you are but also for rewarding yourself. We as humans need rewards and if I learnt anything in life, it is that the beautiful and miraculous things happen in the small things in life. So pay attention and celebrate the small achievements.
  5. Reflect often. Keep asking yourself what have you done and how can you do it better. Repeat and envision - Maximum impact, minimum effort. 
  6. Keep champions around you and let go of any extra weight. People who achieve great things will receive criticism whether it is good or bad intentioned from people around them. Keep the good intentioned ones but remove the bad ones immediately. As for the good intentioned ones you have to listen to your gut feeling because sometimes their doubt can get to you and slow you down, but sometimes their input can be helpful. So just pay attention and follow your gut feeling. 
  7. Try something new everyday. This is essential as it keeps you grounded and helps you go out of your comfort zone. Every day I list 3 things I did that pushed me out of my comfort zone and into the magic zone. What were yours for the day? Remember they can be extraordinary and ordinary things (small is indeed beautiful).
  8. Finally, Keep on envisioning and believing in your self and going for it. You will face failure in some aspects but that's one of the beautiful things of success so don't fear it. Go back to your intention, your dream and refuel yourself for another day in this beautiful journey. 

If you ever need some help in brainstorming about achieving your next goal or have some tips for others please reach out to me through my website on the contact page. Looking forward to hearing from you. Hope you have a magical and beautiful day!

With Love, 





What's A Successful Life?

What is it that makes a life a good, well lived and successful life? Is it money? The number of friends you have? Your job title? Your looks? The relationships you’ve built?

I’ve done the mistake in the past of taking on too many things because I want to live life to its fullest and say i've done it all. But that’s a failed perspective because more doesn’t mean better; more could mean better but not always. In my case, I realized that I spread myself in so many ways because I wanted to help as many people, have a positive impact and at the end of the day be able to say today was a great day and I made a difference.

But what I oddly somehow forgot, is that depth really matters. With depth you are more impactful and sustainable. It’s like having 50 friends who you see socially versus 5 friends who you know soul to soul, who you can turn to in the ups and downs.

Take a step back and ask yourself: Which theme are you following in life with your efforts -  the 50 or the 5? And how can you live a deeper, richer and more impactful life with what you’ve already got?


Let's live a deep, meaningful and impactful life, with a vision, passion, hard work and most importantly a life built on Love. I’m changing things today with myself and going with theme 5, because I want to live a good, well-lived and successful life.

So please, join me & share your ways of living a successful life!


Invest in the Positive

I always was happy with my trait of being independent. Even if my family offered to provide I always wanted to provide for myself. Fast forward to the age of 27, I today can’t walk easily without some kind of drug. I’ve tried not taking them but I need them. Yesterday at 2 am after another failed experiment of trying to go drug-free to stay in line with my not needing anything, I felt defeated again after swallowing the two pills.

I let the emotions of defeat overcome me once again, but a split second later I reminded myself that this is all a matter of perspective and investment – Simply, are you going to invest in and commit to the negative or the positive perspective? It is that simple.

In my case my two options were:

  • Option 1 (Negative): Let the drug put me on a leash, where I identify myself as damaged and completely dependent on a thing in the form of a pill and no longer see myself as whole. The future seems pretty grim in this option.
  • Option 2 (Positive): See the drug as a stepping stone, a kind of crutch that will help me to eventually stand on my feet alone. I am still the same Aida, beautiful and strong, where the drug doesn’t define me, it’s just there for me to lean on. The future seems more optimistic in this one.

If you haven’t guessed, i'm choosing option 2 : ) 

As I meet more people in life, I’ve seen how people try so hard to cover up their vulnerable points, their pains and scars but I realized we as humans are not meant to be alone. We need each other, we need community, we need support. Asking for help doesn’t make you any less strong or beautiful or pure. In-fact, by being vulnerable and allowing yourself to lean on other things will create the space for a quicker recovery.

 So with this today, I am training myself (because it is hard work) to invest in & commit to the positive over and over again and to keep myself open for the people who need someone to lean on. Maybe you can do the same for yourself, family, friend..maybe even a stranger. 

With Love,