As a kid I have seen challenging times in our house. Money was a big concern. And I have always wanted to change that scenario for my family. And I always was on the lookout for a solution to the ever-increasing problems associated with money. And the solutions I was given by the society was, finish your graduation, go to Dubai, and get onto a good job there and that is it. That will be a fulfilled life for you. I had exactly that in mind. And that is exactly what I did. But when I Finished my graduation, there was a different demand and hype. To do an MBA. I was like NO, NO DEVIATION in my plan, and I want to get to that Magical life as soon as possible. So, I finished my graduation, and while I was inquiring to enroll for a computer networking course, one of the institutes told me “WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO WORK FOR US in the Sales department, and at the same time do the course for free”. I had done graduation in Electronics, and I knew Sales would be a completely different line and something which I did not have any experience or knowledge about. I took it on. And there my job resume started getting filled up. 6 months into the job, I got an offer from a famous telecommunication company in Kerala which paid me much more. But it was in a call centre, as a Customer Care person. I took it on. Because my goal was to get to that magical life. I worked in the call centre, and when I heard about an opening in the same company in the Sales department, with a higher pay, I jumped onto that. I worked there for a year, and then when I thought I have built up a decent work experience, I decided to move to my destination, Dubai. Even though everybody at that point of time told me that it is not the right time to go to Dubai to search for a job, I decided that No, nothing can stop me. I am going with the faith that I will make it happen.

I went to Dubai, and at the end of my very first visa, I got a job. And that too, In the best newspaper company in UAE, with a high salary. I started off as the Sales Executive in that company. Every year, I got promoted and the salary was hiked. I went onto be the Manager having a team of 10 people under me, and for one of the products up to 40 people under me. But then there came a point in my life when I had it all, I had a beautiful flat, a wonderful sports car, a posh lifestyle. My family was very happy because they would always talk with a lot of pride about me. Our family was done with the misery. I was definitely very happy too, but I was not fulfilled. I was feeling that I am not using my full potential. But I was earning a lot of money, my parents and my sisters were very proud of me. I could pamper all of them. I was happy, but I was not fulfilled. There came a point, when I used to wake up every morning feeling this is not it. I am playing very small compared to what I am worth. That is when I realized that money is not everything, and I can’t be working for the rest of my life using just 10% of my potential AND not even 1% effect to the world around me.

I left Dubai, and decided to move to a completely new city, Mumbai, knowing no one at all there, to pursue all my passion, and figuring out what is my path. I did acting, anchoring. As I worked as an anchor for an online channel, I also worked as an actor in a tele-film, did a few TV ads, I also explored all the passion I had. I was training myself in Theatre workshops, martial arts, gymnastics, Dance forms Salsa, Bboying, Singing, etc. That’s when COVID hit. I came back to be with my family. As there was no physical work happening, and online was the only work, I moved onto one of my other passion, the Financial markets. Now I am into the financial world, into the World of money, the different asset classes, the Stock Markets, managing and planning finances. I enjoy it. But this was just a stop gap during this COVID times. Now I will be relocating from my hometown, and moving back to Mumbai. Let us see what opens up this time. There has been a lot of sadness, concern and pain for my parents and my sisters and all my loved ones because I am not yet settled as all my peers are all settled, financially doing very well, and living a beautiful lifestyle. And I AM NOT. Most of them have written me off completely, but all I have to say is I am the same Naveed Zakaria, and so I can do the same and even much more with all the experiences AND THE INTANGIBLE assets I have had all these years. My goal is refined now, and it is to have a great effect on the maximum number of people in this World, with a sense of using my fullest potential and living a life with complete fulfilment. So, I start all over again, and will focus on enjoying the process of climbing the mountain!!!
To all the people who are probably in the same stage as I am, I would like to share a quote which could be a driving force for you too.

“Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.”