Aiman Azlan

Motivator

Vlogger

Author

Freelancer

I'm Aiman Azlan,
Motivator, Vlogger, and Author
from Perlis, Malaysia.

I have rich experience in youth engagement, both online and offline. I am passionate about social issues involving the local youth community. In 2015, I founded Aiman Azlan Academy to empower the youth with sustainable self-confidence through effective communication skill.

What I Do
Motivational Speaking

Engaging the youth, locally and internationally, through motivational speaking programs of various format, such as talks, forums, and seminars.

Training

Teaching communication skills, like vlogging, English speaking, and public speaking, through one-to-one or small group workshops.

Vlogging

Sharing thoughts and answering questions in video form on Youtube and Facebook, touching upon relevant youth topics of today.

Writing

Writing motivational and self-help books about various youth topics, such as self-confidence, identity, love, education, career, and community.

Social Media Advertising

Producing advertisements for products or services through social media copywriting and videomaking. Managed by Gushcloud.

Proofreading

Reading and making grammar corrections for final year project papers, theses, resumes, CVs, and other student-related writings.

The Real Orphan

My wife and I try to make it a routine to have a brief reminder session every now and then. Usually after Maghrib prayer, we would sit down as a family and read something from one of the books we have in our collection.

Our latest pick was the book "Tarbiyatul Aulad fil Islam" by Dr. Abdullah Nasir Ulwan. It is a brilliant book about parental responsibilities in raising a good child, and I highly recommend all parents and would-be parents to buy it and read it as a family.

Last night, we read some passages about the factors contributing to misbehaviours in children. One subtopic in particular caught my eye: The Neglectfulness of Parents in Educating the Child. My heart shivered as I read the title because I was afraid that I could be one of those neglectful parents. 

I flipped to the section and started reading. From words to sentences to passages, the section was a must read for all parents, would-be-parents, and eventual-parents. We really felt the effect of the message conveyed.

In that section, the author quoted a poem that has stuck with me, and it is the inspiration of my blog post today:

The real orphan is one with a careless mother and a busy father.

In no way the author was conveying that forever losing a mother and/or a father is a light matter. It is not an experience any of us wish to endure. Having said that, the author is raising an important question to an important and real issue:

What if you have parents, but it feels like they are not there?

The question was raised, in one of the emails I have received. The sender was devastated to be in a situation where his emotional distress wasn't heard. He felt like talking to a brick wall. The parents weren't emotionally responsive to his emotional needs. Hence, although the parents were physically there, it didn't feel like they were there for the child.

Reading that email, I was in a dilemma. Which is worse: losing a parent physically, or emotionally? For people who lose their parents physically (i.e. their parents passed away), eventually they will come to terms that their parents are gone and they have to move on with their lives.

But what if the parents are right there in front of you, but you don't feel their presence? How do you move on in that situation? It might take a great deal of denial and emotional disconnection to come to a conclusion that you don't "have" your parents anymore at that point.

Imagine the emotional torture experienced by a child in such a situation. You want to express your feelings, but they don't respond accordingly. You don't feel like your voice is being heard. They might hear you, but they don't listen to you.

Hearing is a sensory experience, purely physical. It requires minimal attention. Listening goes beyond the physical senses. It requires maximum attention, because you are not simply hearing sounds. You are listening to the words and how they are said, to the emotions accompanying each word, and what each word means to the person and not to you.

When people don't listen to you, you are left feeling alone in a place full of people. It is a strange feeling, but it is definitely real.

Humans don't just operate on a physical level. Food, clothing, and shelter are all important aspects of a parent's responsibility as each is crucial for the physical survival of the child. However, a child is more than just a physical being. A child is also an emotional being.

Meaning, the child has emotional needs to be fulfilled by the parents. Physical needs like hunger are easy to identify and easy to overcome. They require relatively less effort. Emotional needs are more complicated, hence more effort is needed.

Taking a step back, lets try to understand the parents' side of things. Being a new parent, I can sympathize with other parents because despite unique circumstances, our challenges are similar when it comes to raising a child. Among many things, one thing is for certain: parenting is tiring.

If you don't have a child, perhaps you might have heard the expression before. I have and I believed it. However, I didn't have the slightest idea how tiring it will be until I have my own child, Rayyan. You might get some help once in a while, but for the most part, the child is your full responsibility (understandably so, he is your child after all).

Taking this into consideration, we can understand how fatigue might be one of the key factors that can lead parents to emotional numbness. It takes a lot of emotional stamina to be able to maintain a good emotional connection with a child, especially during the early years of childhood.

But it is during those early years that many foundational elements are being set. A baby is born with zero knowledge of life and the world. So, his parents are his primary reference point for what life and the world are.

You are responsible for painting a picture of reality to your child, whether you are conscious about it or not. Fatigue, unfortunately for you as a parent, is not good enough of a reason to neglect your child. It is an understandable problem, but it is not an excuse to emotionally abandon your child.

So, by hook or by crook, you have to find a way. You have to find a way to fulfil the emotional needs of your child. It would be nice if your child could understand your situation, but he is just a child. The one with the capacity of understanding is you, not him. He doesn't even have the capacity to properly express himself, let alone trying to understand your parental challenges.

This part, nobody can prepare you for. This is something that you have to face and adapt, as it happens. The only thing you can prepare for is yourself. Meaning, to prepare yourself physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually for unexpected and unimagined things to happen in a marriage.

The fatigue of parenthood is most probably unexpected and unimagined. But you have to be prepared for it no matter what. Your child needs you whether you are energetic or fatigued. No doubt, this is a hard thing to face but it is not impossible. Having a strong enough motivation would certainly help with the experience.

Why do you get married, and why do you want a child?

The answer to those questions might determine your level of enthusiasm, passion, and commitment. If it is a strong answer, then you will have the strength to power through the tough times and be there for you child. If the answer is not strong enough, you might be tempted to give up too easily.

So, what's your answer?

Hopefully, your answer will save another child from being an orphan, emotionally severed from his parents. 

Where Did My Money Go?!

So you’re walking all jolly and happy to the ATM. You look passionately at your card, full of hope that you will harvest your bounty that day. But then reality hits...you don’t have money! Then, you start counting the days when your money will return again, like two lovers temporarily separated.

You keep an eye on your online bank account balance every day, every hour, every minute. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. When money comes in, you spend like normal until one day you go to the ATM and the panic revisits you. The cycle starts again.

Sounds familiar?

Why does this happen? Well, it’s easy to point fingers at the high cost of living and say, “We need more money”. If only we had more money, we wouldn’t be having this problem. But wait, I think we need to take a step back before making that conclusion. Because I think we might skip a few steps.

Undeniably, there are people who genuinely need more money. I’m talking about people who can’t even cover the basics. Forget the wants and the luxuries, they can’t even afford plain rice. These people struggle with basic survival. If you are in this category, then yes: you can safely say that you need more money.

But for many, many of us, I don’t think we are in that category. If you can still afford to buy stuff, things that you want and not things that you necessarily need, then you might want to think twice before saying that you need more money.

Perhaps what you need isn’t more money. Perhaps what you need is more money discipline. In fact, most of us need that more than we need money. Frankly, many of us lack financial discipline and the person who is writing this ain’t a saint either in that department.

However, I still want to share one thing that we can do today as a first step to develop that discipline. This is something that I have done myself and I have found it to be useful and eye- opening. I’m talking about tracking our money spending.

One of the possible reasons why we keep on coming back to the question, “Where did my money go?” when we check our bank account balance is because we are not aware about where and how much money we are spending.

We don’t know where we are financially, and we are spending our money while being blind. We simply surrender to our autopilot self. No more! We need to snap out of it. We have to start being conscious about when, where, and how much we spend our money.

Although the process of money tracking is tedious, it’s not difficult. All you need is a pen, a piece of paper, and the patience to jot everything down. Or, if you want to save the environment, you can use any money tracking app on your smartphone or an Excel sheet and jot everything down.

When I say “jot everything down”, I mean jot everything down. We need to know exactly how much money comes in and how much money goes out. To make things easier, we can divide up our income (money comes in) and expenses (money goes out) into categories.

Money can come in from multiple sources like salary, dividends, investments, rent, etc. Money can go out to different things like food, shelter, clothes, medicine, takaful, transportation, etc. Dividing our income and expenses into different categories can give us a better picture about what is our biggest income source and what is our biggest expenses.

When I did this for about 3 months, I saw a pattern in my spending and I was surprised as to how much money I spent on certain things. Having this record enables me to confidently answer the nagging question, “Where did my money go?!” The answer to the question is always staring you in the face, but I didn’t notice it because I didn’t bother putting in the effort to pay attention to it.

At this point, some of us might be thinking: Oh my God, that’s a lot of work! Yes, it is a lot of work because building discipline is not easy. But you and I both know we need it in our lives. The extend to which we realize how valuable discipline is will be the extend to which we are willing to commit to building it.

There is no room for half-heartedness in building discipline. Either you give it your very best, or you won’t succeed. It is as simple as that.

Without discipline, it doesn’t really matter how much money we have because the problem isn’t in the amount, but it’s in the usage. We could be very rich and all that money could be gone before we know it, because we don’t have a good sense of how we are spending it.

Just because a person has money, doesn’t mean that he knows how to properly use it. So the next time you’re thinking of marrying someone, instead of wondering how much money that goes into his pockets, you might want to think more about how the money goes out of his pockets.

Want to Get Married? Clean Your Toilet!

I was listening to the radio and I heard the DJ having a conversation with another person about her son. Her son is in university and once in a while she visited him at his place. Apparently he lives off campus with some other guys, I think.

One time, when she visited him, she took a look at his washroom and it was very dirty, like it hasn’t been cleaned in months. At this point in the conversation, she said that’s a typical guy thing. Right? That’s normal, right?

Hahaha…

At this point, I cringed and was a bit offended that she thought that was a “normal guy thing”. I couldn’t, in my good conscious, accept that as a normal guy thing. At the very least, it is an abnormal thing that has been normalized. But then again, I couldn’t blame her because I had a similar experience of my own.

Being a public speaker, I travel a lot and mainly to universities. There was this one university in Malaysia that I went to (not going to say which one in particular), I arrived early for my talk so the organizer asked me to chill at the male hostel.

Okay, cool. I don’t mind the male hostel. I have lived in one for a few years back when I was a student. This male hostel was pretty cool because it’s not a dorm-style place, it’s more like a 4-room apartment. It was spacious enough for 4 guys, but not too big. Just nice.

I came in and wanted to freshen up before the program begins. So I put my things down and I asked the guy who brought me to the apartment (he’s one of the guys who lived there) where the toilet was. He pointed me the way and I went in.

My initial intention was to relieve myself and to get a quick shower. It was a rather long journey and I want to feel fresh when giving the talk later on. But when I went in, it didn’t take long for my intention to be crushed into pieces.

The toilet was beyond dirty.

Words cannot describe the reality of how bad the condition of the toilet was. I thought public toilet was the worst, but then I met its match when I went inside that toilet. I had to snap a few photos with my phone in order for me to remember that moment; the moment when I have found the worst.

But it was not all doom and gloom. That toilet has motivated me. It has given me a glance into what it would look like if I don’t take care of the toilet in my own house. It has also given me a glance as to how far a human being can tolerate dirtiness. I was a bit shocked that the guys are okay with living in that condition. 


A typical Malaysian toilet has a shower in it too, so you go in to relieve yourself and to take a shower. But how can I take a shower in that condition? I was in a philosophical dilemma: if I take a shower in this toilet, would I be cleaner or dirtier?

I couldn’t tolerate it. So I did the bare minimum and went straight out, with no intention of going in there ever again. Not until they have the sense knocked back into them to look after the place they use everyday. You can't clean yourself in a dirty place like that. No way.

When I went back to the guy’s room, I began to observe how he was. Surprisingly, he was a rather tidy person, when it comes to himself. Before he went out, he cleaned himself well, dressed well, and even put on perfume.

You can just imagine my confusion; what I saw in the guy was the exact opposite to what I saw in that toilet. If I saw this guy outside, I wouldn’t have thought that he would leave his toilet that dirty. That experience has led me to a rough conclusion: if you want to know the character of a man, look at how he is inside his home.

I went around universities talking about love and marriage. I went around talking highly about cultivating good characters before marriage. Up to that point, I kept talking about sophisticated things like knowing the rights and responsibilities in marriage, having emotional control, and creating a concrete plan about where you want the marriage to go.

This experience has taken me back a few steps. How can I talk about what I considered to be advance topics, if the basics is not settled yet? I can’t ask a person to run if he can’t even walk. If something as basic as cleanliness and personal hygiene don’t even pass the minimum level that our mothers would be proud of, how can we even begin to talk about marriage?

So from that point onwards, I will put more emphasis on this point: You want to get married? First, clean your toilet. How can a guy dream of taking care of a household, if he can’t even take care of a small toilet?

Seriously guys. We can’t allow ourselves to become the butt of a joke on the radio anymore.

Without Mercy, Knowledge is Dead

When I was in Canada, I attended a lecture about mercy (Rahma), given by a knowledgable scholar by the name Shaykh Ramzy Ajem.

He began his lecture by stating that the hadeeth of mercy is one that all students of knowledge must learn before learning about Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) or about Islam in general.

By having mercy as the foundation of Fiqh, students of knowledge can form a more compassionate understanding of Islam. Understanding the hadeeth of mercy may also serve as a protection for the students of knowledge such that it can guard them from formulating any violent interpretations of Islam.

Pondering upon the hadeeth of mercy is crucial so that the students of knowledge can see the world and its inhabitants with the eye of mercy and not the eye of judgment. From mercy, all other noble characters bloom.

Without mercy, there would be no life in Fiqh. It will be dry, harsh, and hard. Like a barren land in the middle of a drought, with no form of green life in sight.

Another scholar by the name of Shaykh Dr. Umar Faruq 'Abd Allah wrote a paper on mercy, giving it a well-deserved title, "Mercy: The Stamp of Creation", indicating that creations is a manifestation of Mercy.

It is by Allah's Mercy that we are here. It is by Allah's Mercy that He sent Prophet Muhammad, the mercy to all the worlds. It is by Allah's Mercy that He gave us ample time and opportunities to follow the sunnah (path or way) of Prophet Muhammad and to return to the path when we have gone astray.

Without mercy in our hearts, we are far away from his path. If we are not following his way, then we have to ask ourselves, "Which sunnah am I following?"

"The merciful are shown mercy by Ar-Rahman. Be merciful on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from Who is above the heavens. The womb is named after Ar-Rahman, so whoever connects it, Allah connects him, and whoever severs it, Allah severs him." (at-Tirmidhi)

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Contact Me

Location

Arau, Perlis MY

Phone number

+6 013 416 4652

Website

www.aimanazlan.com