Determination, Drive, and Passion

December 9, 2006 at 4:24 am | Posted in Personal | 2 Comments

I’ve been thinking about this over the past few days and weeks. It is something that I see with a lot of my friends and to be honest it disappoints me.

I feel nowadays that not many people have determination to go for things that they want in life. Many people are just content where they are. When they are presented with a setback in life, they just want to give up and go with the status quo. “What’s the solution?” you may ask…My belief is that you should use this set back to drive you to achieve what you weren’t able to.

I’ll give you an example…I know people in Egypt who have a huge desire to leave the country and go work somewhere better. But then, I don’t see them doing anything about it, except maybe sending their CV to one or two companies. I remember when I wanted to leave Egypt, I put in a huge effort to do it. I literally would spend hours everyday searching for jobs that I am qualified for (specifically since I was interested in Microsoft, that’s where I was focusing my efforts). I also looked at Amazon, since my first preference was coming to Washington. I literally applied to hundreds of possible jobs. I would also explore several avenues at going to Microsoft (e.g., through the JobsBlog, etc.)

While I applied for hundreds of jobs, I got a total of 3 callbacks from Microsoft, and one from Amazon. So if you only end up applying for just a handful of jobs the chances of getting a callback might be a bit slim..but ramp it up to hundreds of jobs your chances do increase, and all you sometimes need is one shot to prove yourself.

Also, if you do suffer form a setback (such as not getting accepted) don’t use this as an excuse to give up. If you give up you are guaranteed to fail. If you prematurely give up the fight, there is no way for you to win or to turn the situation around. You should take any form of setback as a learning opportunity to learn from it. Understand why you were not successful this time around, and then use it to motivate you to succeed next time. In my particular case, if I had not succeeded in my interview with Microsoft (WinSE team), I had another one lined up with the Microsoft Speech Server and another one with Amazon.

My point is, when you want to do something, don’t do it in half-measures. Give it your all. Do your best and remember your ultimate goal. Do anything it takes to achieve it. And if you encounter a setback, don’t let it depress you and put you down. Take it as an opportunity to learn and a challenge for you to succeed next time.

Good Luck.



  1. Ali,
    It makes lot of sense,especially last para sounds worth than anything I feel.
    Thanks for your wonderful post once again,
    keep posting & sharing..So we can achieve whatever you are today !!

  2. That is so well-said! Since I am also in the job hunting phase now, I can identify with what you are saying. Giving up trying after a reject is soo wrong, and dangerous. One must push to work harder and learn from mistakes. At one point, you start enjoying it so much.

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