Since the capturing of this interview, Faisal has been accepted into the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania and will begin his matriculation this fall. Way to go Faisal in realizing your dream to be a global voice in positive psychology!
What brought you to positive psychology?
I first heard of Positive Psychology when I was at Wharton in 2008. Martin Seligman’s book, Learned Optimism, was referenced in my Organization Behavior class. A keen observer of behavior and corporate cultures, the topic intrigued me. I have always had an optimistic outlook on life and seen it as full of possibilities. I have carried this attitude with me in all domains of my life and work was no different. When I started facilitating the Corporate Athlete program at work, many of the concepts we taught were related to behavioral change and how improving oneself in any one domain physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually would have a ripple effect in all the other domains. We also taught how important our thoughts are in what we do in life. In 2015, I stumbled on the MAPP program by accident while I was searching for wellness training programs. I still remember the day I first found about MAPP, it was morning and just reading about it on the UPENN website and then researching it online, I spent the whole day just sucking all the information in. I had no doubt stumbled upon my calling. It was a natural fit with what I had done in the past with the Corporate Athlete program. I knew my next move in life would be related to Positive Psychology. I was delighted to discover CAPP and started to quench my thirst for learning more.
How are you applying positive psychology in the world?
I left my corporate finance and technology position to create a coaching and consulting business, 1ExtraordinaryLife, LLC. My mission is to help people achieve their goals in life. Positive Psychology provides the tools to enable this. By applying it in my own life I would like to exemplify its practice and inspire people, just like the inspiration I get from our instructors at CAPP–Louis, Erin and Emiliya. I believe I had been practicing a lot of Positive Psychology in the past, but it was less structured and I did not have the language for it. Now that I have a better understanding, I am more deliberate about it e.g. when I experience certain emotions I better understand them, I have a much better appreciation for brain science and it’s fun talking to people about Mindset.
What is your life purpose and/or vision for yourself in the world?
To be a global voice in Positive Psychology — to break down racial, religious, and geographic barriers and boundaries around the world. To be an authentic and passionate leader who inspires others to be their best. To be the spark that ignites others to pursue their passions.
When was the last time you felt awe?
I am in awe of people who make positive change in the world for the better. One of my heroes is the ex-Pakistani cricket team captain turned philanthropist and politician, Imran Khan. I was born and raised in England, however my heritage is Pakistani so I have close ties to that country. Imran Khan is a selfless leader who capitalized on his fame in sports to build two cancer hospitals in that country and also an internationally recognized University where the poor can get free treatment and education. He had no personal gain from taking on these projects but chose to help those in need. He now leads the major opposition political party in the country and is a force of good in an otherwise severely politically compromised country. I am in awe of people who are able to lead for the good in the world and who demonstrate that other people matter on such a large scale. I am learning more about Nelson Mandela and am in awe of what and how he accomplished what he did in South Africa.
I am excited to have recently gotten engaged and look forward to getting married to Raina later this year. She is in London and we are both anxious to start our new life in the US.
<Student Spotlight contributed by Cheryl Rice, CAPP>