On Human Development

Interview with Ihsan Ali, Human Development Trainer:

Ihsan Ali

Ihsan Ali

Interviewed by Aras Ahmed Mhamad

AAM: What’s your definition of Human Development? What is the importance of Human Development for the overall physical and psychological well-being of a person?

Ihsan Ali: “Human Development” as a term or concept can be used for any activity or effort aiming at the improvement of any aspect of a person or peoples` lives, such as physical, social, family, spiritual, financial, entertainment, productivity, effectiveness, etc. in order to help human beings reach their highest potentials and tap into their greatness or just to make what is available even better, this is in addition to saving people from harmful thoughts, practices, behaviors and feelings.

Human Development helps us to further discover this great being called Human and to take humans from underachievement to high levels of overachievement. It is through Human Development we learned that average human beings use less than 2% of their mental capacity.

The question is, if humanity could achieve this level of life and civilization without tapping into great mental powers (2%), what would be the shape of our life if we could harvest our mental powers beyond (10%)?

The more we delve into the secrets of human being, the more we understand the connection between body, soul and mind in a way that latest researches show that these components of human being are inseparable and each affects the others and is affected by them as well.

That is why we cannot have a healthy physique without having a healthy mind or soul. Current studies of well-being puts a great emphasis on Balanced Life in which Soul – Spirit, Mind and Body are all healthy and in harmony. The healthier our thoughts are, the healthier our souls are and consequently the healthier bodies we get. The old saying can be phrased this way better: “A Sound body is in a sound mind”. So, the soundness of mind leads to healthier body.

Worth to note is, the goal of Human Development does not stop with improving life standards of human beings in all aspects of life through balancing these three components, but it exceeds to include longevity and efforts to extend lifespan of human beings as well as decreasing frequency of diseases, if we have to get sick at all.

 AAM: Is it ever too late for people to change their lives? What are the most challenging conflicts and how can we transform them into positive thoughts and behaviors?

Ihsan Ali:  It is said that, “It is never too late to become what you are supposed to be”. Changing life starts with changing thoughts, thoughts beget actions, which forms habits, and eventually the character of the person.

So, change is never late as long as there is intention, willingness and a goal. Among the biggest challenges of change is satisfaction with the status quo, lacking ambition and motivation which comes from lacking great long-term goals.

It is important to realize that we are the programmers of our lives; we are the ones who sculpt and give shape to our lives. The history of humanity is full of disadvantaged people challenging their situations and making great contributions to humanity.

There is an old man who learned how to read when he was 90 years old and soon became millionaire by writing his life story and selling it. There are blind people with great influence like Helen Keller; deaf like Beethoven; Colonel Sanders, founder of KFC, was 63 when he first started the Kentucky Fried Chicken business, etc.

So, perseverance and willingness are keys for such transformations.

AAM: What are the best ways to deal with our emotional traumas and mental stress? Where can we find motivation, a goal and hope?

Ihsan Ali: Among the best ways to deal with traumas are focusing on the future and what to achieve, building the future by planning and working for it rather than leaving it to happen to you.

Predicting the future you want by making it, not leaving it to destiny, government or chance: Knowing that the past does not necessarily equal the future, unless we believe it so, or allow the future to be a copy of the past.

A good technique would be turning the past into a bookshelf or library for learning lessons, getting motivation and insight from it.

Linked to this is, having long-term ambitious goals takes us from stress to calmness, from hopelessness to hope and gives us energy.

To help us with both cases, it is important always to focus on what we can do, on our circle of influence and not focusing on our concerns or what we cannot do anything about.

The more planned and focused we are the less stress we would face and more motivation we will have.

AAM: Negative self-talk and pessimistic self-beliefs create inner barriers. From your experience, what are the solutions for handling such kinds of thoughts?

Ihsan Ali: Solutions might be, replacing those negative talks with neutral ones at the beginning, like “I try, I might be good, I might succeed, I might win…etc.” till eventually we reach the point of positive self-talk, such as; “If anyone can do it I can do it, Nothing can stop me, I am better and more than I think, I have succeeded in conception and birth I will succeed in other things, I am a miracle, etc.”.

One simple helpful clue would be, writing a list of all the successes we have in our past, even small ones and reviewing them occasionally, and reading of the successes of other people with fewer resources than us.

AAM: Regular exercising, healthy food, regular sleep schedules are all seem to be vital for our body and mind to function well in this technological era. How would you comment on that?

Ihsan Ali: What you mentioned are great components of a balanced life. If are meant to be healthy, successful and enjoy mental well-being, we should be aware of positivities and negativities which are brought by technology.

We better protect ourselves from some aspects of technology such as being lazy, not exercising, getting exposed to different kinds of radiation, toxics, etc. and get benefit from the advantages that come along with technology, such as the huge amount of knowledge available on the internet about health and wellbeing, tools and machines for exercising regularly, treadmills, smart phones with a host of useful apps.

Finally, in the midst of the crowd of daily activity, it is good not to forget healthy food, quality sleep rather than quantity, regular exercising and continuous personal improvement.

 Ihsan Ali (Jaf) is a freelance Human Development trainer, translator and writer. He is author of English – Kurdish and Turkish – Kurdish series of dictionaries and has a master’s degree in public administration. He founded Dawlat for development and translation and is councillor of YADC (Youth Activities Development Center).

Aras Ahmed Mhamad is a freelancer. He is the Founder and Deputy Editor of SMART magazine, an independent English magazine that focuses on ‘Literature, Language, Society’. He is the Top Student of College of Languages at the Department of English/ University of Human Development, 2012. He is a columnist for the Kurdistan Tribune and a contributing writer for the ekurd.net. He is the Cultural Analyst at the Kurdish Review Newspaper, the only Kurdish-American newspaper in print. He is also the Editor in Chief of the Sorani section at the doznews.com

Copyright © 2013 Kurdistantribune.com

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