Are You Actually Depressed, or Confused?

I was at MSU Shah Alam today for a forum about depression. The questions and the feedback were interesting.

One thing that stood out for me was how casually we use the term "depression" in our daily lives, without knowing what it actually means.

Depression is a mental illness, listed in the official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Ed. (DSM-5). Depression is only diagnosable by a trained and certified professional (not Google!) and people with depression needs professional help to different degrees.

So when you simply failed a test, don't call that depression.

If you feel like you are depressed but you are unsure, then please seek professional help. They should be able to help you differentiate whether you are clinically depressed or just having a bad day. Try not to Google it, diagnose yourself with a serious mental illness, and start throwing the term around.

When we use the term willy nilly, the actual meaning of the term becomes faded. Just …

The Month of April Started with a Failure

I cancelled an event that was supposed to happen yesterday on April 1st, and I want to tell you why.

A month ago, my team and I planned a Step ONE: Activate Your Confidence! seminar - one of the programs in Speak Up! Project. It was not the first time. The seminar was held many, many times before all over the Peninsula Malaysia. In fact, we already visited all the states in Peninsula Malaysia - from north to south, from east to west.

So why didn't it happen this time?

My diagnosis: We failed in our outreach to people. We couldn't get enough participation to pay for the cost of the program. Hence, we had to cancel it and it was the first time we had to do so. It broke my heart.

In the past, we had events where we barely broke even. We even had events where we lose money. But we didn't cancel it. We powered through. This time, we intend to do the same but we didn't have the financial strength to cover the loses.

So, cancellation was the option we opted for.

There are 2 …

Are You on Autopilot?

Just a thought.

Have you ever prayed and then not realizing that you are already at the end of your prayer?

Have you ever ate and then not realizing that you have finished your plate?

Have you ever went shopping and then not realizing how did you fill up your car boot?

Have you ever feel sad or angry or disappointed and then not realizing what is the source that triggered the emotion?

Have you ever raised a child and then not realizing that the child is now a grown man or a woman?

If you can identify with any of those things, then you might be on autopilot mode. The autopilot mode is a state where you are not aware of what they are doing or how they are doing it or why they are doing what they are doing.

When we are on autopilot mode, we are not really there. Our body might be there, but our mind is somewhere else entirely.


I think, one of the main reasons is because we have trained ourselves to not let go of the past and to worry too much about the future.

That causes us to o…

Increase the Positive

Everybody has a positive side and a negative side. Which side do we choose to focus on?

We should choose to focus on the positive, despite knowing that the negative does exist.

That doesn’t mean that we ignore the negative. If we are in a position where we can make the situation better, then we should take appropriate action to correct the negative. Focus on the positive doesn’t mean that we justify their negative qualities or actions.

I’m talking about being positive, not being naive.

Focus on the positive means that despite being aware of the negative, we make a conscious choice to see the good side of a person. We consciously decide that we would not define the person by his or her negativity, and we don’t make the negative our wallpaper.

The person may or may not deserve our good thoughts. That is up for debate. But this is not about the person. This is about us. How we choose to see people affects how we feel. It is a factor in our emotional wellbeing. If we focus on the negat…

Be Confident, and You Might Surprise Yourself

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about my #1 interview tip: become the confident version of yourself. You can re-read the post here: Interview Tip: Just Be You, The Confident You.

Of course, that's not the only tip available to face an interview, but that is my favourite one and the one that I hold dear. My belief is that the interviewers want to see who you are beyond your resume.

Your resume has already gotten you the interview spot, but once you are in the interview session, they are no longer interested in the resume.

They are interested in you.

So, if you spend too much time focusing and investing in building up your resume, you might end up neglecting your own self. Spend more time building yourself; your talents, skills, and confidence.

It will shine in the interview session. No need to fake it.

Alhamdulillah, I am grateful that I am blessed with the opportunity to attend the International Leadership Programme under the Prince's Trust - a youth charity based in …

4 Signs That You Love What You Study In University

Do you love what you are studying in university?

These are 4 possible signs that you love what you study. If you have these signs, congrats!

#1 I keep thinking about it.

I studied Psychology in university, and I love it! Just like 2 people in love, you can't stop thinking about it. I don’t just think about Psychology when I’m in class and when class is over, that’s it. I think about it a lot in my daily life.

#2 I see real life connections. 

I made connections between what I learned in class with what I experience in life. Not only do I make connections between what I learned with my life, I also make connections with Islam.

Time and time again, I realized that the things that I learned in Psychology are the things that are already there in the Sunna of Prophet Muhammad SAW. I don’t “Islamicize” what I learned. I don’t have to. Rather, I find Islam in what I learned.

I believe that Islam is already there. One just needs the proper lens to find it. Is it not true that between the…

27.02.17 @ INTEC Shah Alam

Topic: Activate Your Confidence

I basically repeated one major point in building and maintaining your confidence level - don't assume what you don't know.

We like to play the guessing game, especially when we face something we know nothing about. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that we hate the unknown.

We want to know, and that's fine. But there is one area that we will never truly know. Still, we like to guess.

That area is other people's minds. We love to guess what is in other people's minds, especially what they think about us.

This guessing game has a cost: your confidence. We like to guess the negative and that squashes our confidence level, usually without us realizing it.

"They will think bad of me."

"They must think that I am boring."

"What if they hate me?"

"If I do that, they will call me names!"

Bla...bla...bla...the guessing voices in your head don't seem to stop, do they?

Until you learn to sh…

How to Motivate Myself?

Someone asked me, “How can I motivate myself if I don’t know how?” This question is from the comment section of one of my Youtube videos where I talked about motivation.

Self-motivation means you motivate yourself. It comes from your own doing. It’s your choice. There are many ways of self-motivation but I am just going to give you 3 ways that I personally use.

#1 Surrounding 

Remember, self-motivation is your choice and your surrounding falls under that. You choose your surrounding, especially the people you hang out with and the places you go to.

Who do you hang out with and where do you usually hang out in? Do you hang out with positive, inspirational people? Do you hang out in positive, inspirational places? The surrounding that you choose will affect how you feel about yourself.

#2 Service

Choose to serve other people, not for profit or praise, but just for the sake of making other people’s lives better. The Prophet said that the best among us is the one who is most beneficial to…

Dakwah and Confidence

Dakwah is an art of communicating the divine message to humanity. Speaking the truth is not enough. You have to speak the truth in the right way, according to whom you are speaking with.

Speaking isn't the only medium for dakwah. Communication can be established in many, many ways. We shouldn't preoccupy ourselves too much on speech to commit to dakwah.

Any (legal) medium of communication can be used for dakwah. The goal is simple: to share the message across to people. Note: the keyword is "share". Not "shove".

Sharing this message requires #confidence in yourself, especially in your identity as a Muslim. Have you met a Muslim friend who panicked when someone asked him about Islam?

"Oh my God, what should I answer?!"

Why the panic? Not because the person asking is manipulating his mind into disbelief in Islam, but because the Muslim is not feeling confident in the faith to begin with.

This usually happens when we are born with the faith, like m…

What Does It Mean To Be Human?

Being humans mean having the capacity to empatize with the other, even when the other is doing something so inhumane, you get sick. But inhumane behaviours of other people do not justify our inhumane behaviours.

Being humans mean the ability to not respond to negativity with more negativity, without being passive and complacent. We want to improve life as we live it and in doing so, we want to reduce negativity by promoting more positivity into the world.

That, in itself, is not a sign of weakness on our part. When someone punches you and you punches him back, that is actually weakness because you have succumbed to your base desire to get even and not your higher ideals to make the situation better.

This does not mean that the person who punches you should walk away scotch free. Promoting positivity does not mean that we overlook justice. In fact, it doesn’t make sense to promote positivity without promoting justice at the same time.

The thing is, under normal circumstances, justice d…