Legacy Of A Prison

by  Ahmed Mujtaba  |  Self Leadership
Legacy of a Prison

This blog may be a little different than your typical leadership blog post, but I hope my perspective encourages you to think from a different angle.

This August marked a decade from the time I began my professional journey. 

I had not even noticed this milestone, but my colleagues on a professional networking site kept mentioning it. I wish it could be considered a happy milestone, but the feelings are mixed.

My feelings are mixed because my transfer to another country has resulted in many challenges to my sense of satisfaction with myself professionally and personally.

It seems like only a prisoner can acknowledge another prisoner on continuing a legacy of a prison. There is a tidal wave of questions inside my head.

The Questions

  • Did I ever love my job?
  • Were all those years really worthwhile?
  • Why did I always swim against the tide?
  • What was I always looking for?
  • Why I am still not satisfied with myself?
  • Is it a time to start a new chapter of life?

Despite all the questions swirling in my head, maybe I do possibly have more answers than I think.

The Possibilities

  • Maybe I have learned something in all these years.
  • Maybe changes have occurred inside me.
  • Maybe I have lost more than I realize.
  • Maybe there will be a way to repay kindnesses eventually.
  • Maybe I was misunderstood or I misunderstood the situation.

The Present

Everything is history. Whether I accept or reject it nothing will change. What is lost will remain lost but what I have may have some worth. Sometimes you don’t have to write or explain everything. We should leave a few things the way they are.

This article is hopefully more than the irregular thoughts of a grumpy old lost prisoner. Hopefully it leads you to ask yourself questions as you live your life. Because ultimately you are the one who knows the fate of your destiny. You hold the key to being released from prison.

Have you ever been in a prison of your thoughts? How did you escape?
Photo Credit: Fotolia tiero

About The Author

Articles By ahmed-mujtaba-khan
Ahmed is a Mechanical Engineer who was transferred a year ago with family to Thailand. He is from Pakistan where he worked in the automotive industry for 15 years. He blogs to motivate others and provide survival ideas for those who struggle with issues of corporate culture.

What People Are Saying

Margy KJ  |  21 Oct 2015  |  Reply

I really enjoyed this, Ahmed! As someone who has relocated to another country in the past few years, I definitely relate to many of your questions. I especially found the question “Why am I not satisfied with myself?” very pertinent–it seems like sometimes, we think “if only I could do {fill in the blank], then I would feel fulfilled,” but that feeling lingers no matter where we go. Maybe we need to look internally to really find the root of that question–and perhaps the answer to it, too.

John Smith  |  21 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Hi, Ahmed

Fascinating post … and I like that it is not a generic leadership post:)

I was confused at first about your use of the term “prisoner”, but you cleared that up nicely at the end. With that understanding, your thoughts resonate with me.

I have never had to move from one country to another, but I know something of moving from one culture to another. Even with common language, dress, and some customs, the move from living on a farm in rural Missouri to living in a mid-sized urban community includes many of the same questions that you pose.

I tend to summarize by asking myself “Why am I here, instead of there?”.

As to your question about being a prisoner of my own thoughts, I would answer “Yes, many times over”. I think this is a human condition, where we construct limits, guidelines, rules, barriers, and so on, all based on assumptions or perceptions … none of which are the reality in which we actually live.

I get the impression that your move to Thailand was involuntary. Is this correct? How might your perceptions change, based on whether it was your decision or someone else’s?


Ahmed Mujtaba  |  23 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Thanks Margy for your comment and understanding. we all have questions inside us. Questions which are specially related to us or to our self judgment. I think thats a way of pushing yourself forward to find the answers of those questions. Its a force who drive us to move in a direction on which we mostly take times to walk or run.

Ahmed Mujtaba  |  23 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Dear john thanks for such a detail comment.
I was in Thailand on a company project. Well moving to Thailand was kinda my choice because i wanted to find an answer of some of those questions which were irritating me for many years in my job in Pakistan.
In Thailand i really found many expected answers which have change me a lot. A biggest change is that now i m on a bigger understanding level which these days surprising me as well.
One thing is for sure now that what ever i always thought about corporate culture is true…may be not in pakistan but on the other side.

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