Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Every day countless articles and books are published around personal development. “10 steps to be more creative.” “3 ways to live in the moment.” I’m fascinated by self improvement and the incredible ability of the brain and our mindset to improve and elevate our lives. But like me, you may be overwhelmed by all these resources. Where should I start? What’s most important?

Our typical instinct is to look for more or something new. What new skills do I need to develop? What new app or service…


Reframe the conversation to better understand the nature of others’ — and our own — relationship with religion

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BACKGROUND

As a Pakistani American, I’ve grown up Muslim and consistently grappled with questions related to religion:

What does it mean to be a ‘good Muslim’? Why do some people consider ‘fundamentalists’ the most religious when they commit the worst atrocities? When am I ‘most Muslim,’ ‘least Muslim?’ How religious am I, really?

During my childhood, “being Muslim” was associated with reading the Quran, reluctantly going to Sunday school, and occasionally fasting and praying. Post 9/11, my Muslim identity became both a badge and a wound, a stamp I would either hide in public settings or intentionally display in an apparent…


As we enter another year, you may be thinking about your resolutions. “What do I want to accomplish this year?” “Last year sucked, this year will be different!” For many, this turn in the calendar year provides a chance for reflection, a personal ‘reset’ to calibrate for the new year. It’s exciting; we finish up a chapter and are excited to begin writing the next one.

Fast forward to February — or even the second week of January — the resolutions are forgotten, and we go back to our existing routines for 11 months, only to restart the cycle all…


“Wow, you look so exotic.”

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Racism is a dynamic, complex, and global issue, affecting everyone in various intensities and forms. As a strategist, UX designer, and management consultant, I’ve devoted my career to understanding people in order to design and deliver user-centric products. As a concerned citizen, witness, and victim of racist forces, I’m passionate about tackling this issue through a different lens than those typically employed. And so, the question for today is:

Before beginning, it is important to note that design itself will not solve a systemic social problem, but…


Introduce yourself.

A simple request, but one of the most difficult and dynamic to fulfill. Too often the only times we think about who we are is when prompted by others, and our response is largely conditioned by the context. You introduce yourself differently at a job interview than you do on a blind date (…at least I hope so...). Your LinkedIn profile is different than your Instagram or Tinder profile. We describe ourselves based on the medium and audience, but have you paused and asked yourself the question? How would you define yourself? …

Ibrahim Ayub

Systems thinker and problem solver across human behavior, design, strategy, and tech. Exploring ways to think, be, act, and live fully. ibrahimayub.com

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