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New Year, New Ibrahim!

Happy New Year!  2016!  Woohoo!

2016 holds a lot of big changes for me:

  1. I’ve quit my day job to pursue my calling to become an entrepreneur!
  2. My son will arrive in at the end of March (God willing)!
  3. My wife Farah and I are working on multiple business endeavors, including InnerLoop Innovations (my Branding, Marketing, and Web Presence Management firm), Personal Statement Consult (Farah’s personal statement & essay consulting service, coming mid January 2016), Continue reading…
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My New Lumix LX100 (and why I’m no longer a DSLR guy)

I’ve been leaning towards dumping my Nikon D7000 for a while now.  I have to carry a minimum of 3 lenses with me everywhere I go (which is a pain), and my gear ends up being 1 of my 2 carry on items every time I travel.  I am not a professional, I do not make a lot of money with my photography, and frankly, I wasn’t enjoying it anymore.  I knew something needed to change.

So I decided to do some research.  There had to be something that I could carry in my pocket (or at least a jacket pocket), with enough “umph” to make me feel like I wasn’t missing much.  After much digging and nights of reading, I settled on the Lumix LX100. Continue reading…

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Stop Chasing Accolades and Start Chasing Joy

First job. First car. College graduation. First new car. Get married. Grad school. Career. Buy first home. Climb the corporate ladder. Corner Office. Bigger house. Luxury car(s). etc.

It seems that we young Americans have confused the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of accolades and material wealth. Somehow we’ve convinced ourselves that these things are happiness, that being able to purchase these things equate to joy. Unfortunately, not only is this not true, but it’s a poisonous philosophy that will lead us to a life unfulfilled and unsatisfied, and worst of all still not happy. Continue reading…

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On Graduating from Business School (MBA/MHA)

On December 15, 2013 I walked across a stage and graduated from business school.  For the past 3 and a half years I had been attending a dual master’s program, Master of Business Administration/Master of Healthcare Administration, at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL).  I love UHCL.  I went there for my undergraduate degree, B.S. in Biological Sciences. During my undergraduate career I worked there as a student as a Technical Support Specialist in the University Computing and Technology Support Center. I accepted a position in the Office of Admissions post graduation as the E-Communications Recruiter for the university and then enrolled in the MBA/MHA program.  Now I’ve finished the MBA/MHA.  I’ve been with the university for  a total of 7 years. Continue reading…

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How I Learned to Live a Remarkably Happy Life

My life has changed pretty remarkably in the past few months.  What makes the change interesting is that the past few months of my life have been pretty uneventful.  No life changing event, no experience that altered my life’s trajectory, no song, movie, or piece of art to inspire change.  And unless you were inside my head you wouldn’t even notice the change.  But something did change.

So what was it?  What happened that changed everything? My perspective changed.  I realized that reality is malleable.   Continue reading…

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Embrace Your Pace: The Joy of Being a Newbie

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I’m a serial hobbyist.  The truth is that I love the high you get when learning about something new, the fast improvement of that new skill, and the excitement of sharing your new skill with the world.  I’ve done sports, weight lifting, diet and nutrition experimentation, sleep experiments, playing instruments, gaming, blogging (obviously), photography, film making, cooking, web design and development, social media, singing… the list goes on and on.

My newest hobby is running.  Now I’m not a good runner by any means.  I’m not fast, my form is not great, and the best part of my run may very well be the color coordinated running gear I wear, but I love it.  And through self-quantification and data tracking, I’ve realized not only why I love running, but (probably) why I love all the hobbies I start (even those that get dumped later). Continue reading…

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The Philosophy and Behavior of the Modern Gentleman (And a note to Ladies)

gentility: The quality of being well-mannered; refinement.

A gentleman.  Broken down, a gentle man.  Being a gentleman isn’t some arbitrary set of rules, followed by men of the Victorian era, never to be heard of again.  Much to the contrary, the world needs gentlemen today more than ever.  You see, being a gentleman is a mindset, a philosophy.  And while many may think of gentlemanly acts as patronizing, and even sexist, if they were to understand the philosophy of being a gentleman, they’d understand the merit and necessity of it. Continue reading…

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A Letter to Me from FUTURE ME?!

Today I decided to write myself a letter.  I am always intrigued by people talking to other versions of themselves or really getting into the perspectives of others.  For example “Superman” by Five for Fighting, or the writing of the historical characters in “Midnight in Paris”.  But rather than write a letter to my younger self, as many do, I’ve decided to ‘receive’ a letter from my older self.

Dear 28-year-old Ibrahim,

Hello good friend.  I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately.  I was recently pondering the journey life has taken me on from childhood to where I am today (2/4/2040) and I thought it might be productive to write to you.  First off, let me say congratulations.  The accomplishments you’ve achieved up until this point are enough to have made your friends and family proud. Continue reading…