10 Things that I learnt from my husband, Sarmad Tariq

Published: May 8, 2014

"Never let your challenges become your excuses". RIP Sarmad Tariq PHOTO: SARMAD TARIQ FACEBOOK PAGE

Sarmad Tariq, the motivational speaker, life coach and the ‘chair man’ has touched many lives through his experiences of hardship and writings. As my life partner for the last 13 years, I have also learnt a lot from him.

Here is a list of my personal favourite top 10 things that I want to share with all his admirers:

1. Do not form an opinion about people on the basis of how they look, what they wear or their general demeanour. Every human being has some positive qualities that can only be discovered if we allow ourselves to do away with the judgments and discover those qualities about them.

2. Do not waste your energy and time on getting angry and worked up about the little things in life. Save it for things that really matter. And when you let your anger out, express to show your care not disrespect.

3. Do not let your fears, complexes and anxieties keep you away from pursuing what your heart tells you to. Time will not wait and there will be no tomorrow, so just do what you have to do and the rest will follow.

4. Do not let your challenges become your excuses. Seize them as opportunities that need to be explored and given meaning to.

5. Do not follow your passion, hobbies and interests half-heartedly, without full knowledge about them. If you ride a bicycle, a jeep, dance, learn all about its history, mechanics and the works because it’s only through this learning that you will excel in the passion.

6. Do not let the child or teenager in you die as you age. Allow yourself to feel the excitement about the small, the silly and fun things in life no matter what age you are.

7. Do not find excuses for doing or not doing something that you did not want or wanted to do. While your age, gender, class, disability may make things tough for you, it’s not a good enough excuse.

8. Do not waste your time ‘flipping through the TV channels’. There needs to be a purpose behind what you do and that purpose, no matter how big or small, should make sense to you. So, even when you watch a movie, listen to music, meet your friends, you of all people should know why you are doing it.

9. Do not take your loved ones for granted so keep telling them how much you love, adore and care for them.

10. Do not try to control the thoughts, opinions and lives of your loved ones. Let them live the way they want to as they are responsible for their lives. Your concern for your loved ones should not cross the boundaries of their personal space. Emotional black mail and self-pity are tools of destruction, not construction.

Zehra Kamal Alam

Zehra Kamal Alam

An Islamabad based practising Clinical Psychologist with 16 years of experience working with children and adults especially on trauma and violence related issues. She also works freelance in the development sector and tweets as @zehrakamal (twitter.com/zehrakamal)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Yoyo

    Sorry for your loss..but rest assured Sarmad led a life that moved people to deep admiration, inspiration and hope. He’s been a role model for many, many, and I’m sure his memories and live will continue to serve as a role model in the days ahead.
    Again, may his soul rest in peace, may you and your family find strength and peace in this enduring times :(Recommend

  • Kanwal

    Pakistan is proud of your husband and you. Bravo.Recommend

  • Sami

    Your thoughts are admirable and commendable. You stood by Sarmad throughout his life and that is a remarkable thing in my view. In this world of Materialism and Egocentric Society when someone shows empathy for others and learn and disseminate the wisdom as well ,then that person is a great jewel in my view.Recommend

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  • Miqdad Naqvi

    Zahra, Its amazing and just great….. The words, Ideas & Legacy he left behind will always be source of inspiration for all of us…..
    RIP SarmadRecommend

  • Vaz

    Got it bookmarked!
    RIP Sarmad Tariq sir.Recommend

  • baig

    it is really good to hear from you!Recommend

  • naeem khan

    just another elitist glorifying so called achievementsRecommend

  • Mahwish

    RIP Sarmad,, Zehra I appreciate ur effort trying to cum back in life,, ur husband was gym,, reading about Shantoo really grieved me,Loss of shantoo is great loss for all his admirers, Allah bless u,, n I hope after living wid Sarmad for 13 years u had found purpose of ur life, after reading Shantoo I really started finding purpose of my life,,Recommend

  • Alice J

    Very thought provoking and a guidebook for husbands to let their spouses soar and fly which only strengthens the bond…Recommend

  • Naveed Razzaq

    the last point is quite valuable especially. an optimistic approach to life!Recommend

  • Prof Col Manzoor Iqbal Awan

    Great philosophy of life. I have been stressing the thrust of it upon all my students, but this wonderful compilation will surely help. Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Mashallah . Your husband is lucky to have you , indeed . Rarely a spouse has some one who can acknowledge his / her plus points. Both of you look made for each other.Recommend

  • Ism

    Inspiring thoughts, Zehra. We all are proud of you and your husband.Recommend

  • HBK

    love the number 8 and number 10Recommend

  • usman

    I agree Kanwal your point of view.Recommend

  • Sami

    Why the people with the last name as Khan are in full ignorance mode now a days.?. I am afraid your inspiration is another ignorant known as Imran Khan?Recommend

  • Irum Musharraf

    An inspiration to human kind- individuals like yourself and Sarmad. May Sarmad’s herculian spirit and perspectives live on through you. Pakistanis need to hear voices like yours.Recommend

  • Usman Asghar Wahla

    He is indeed a Legend!Recommend


    He Was a Man …RIP…..
    and a big salute for this CoupleRecommend

  • chris bialan

    It was less than a year ago I first met Sarmad. I got to know and love this courageous and wonderful man with his beautiful soul and such a magical way with words. The world would be a much happier and balanced place if many listened to his views. A truly inspirational man who has warmed so many lives through his example and prophetic words. RIP bro.

  • http://chillpaki.com abubakr butt

    God bless that great man…It takes nerves of steel to withstand all that he was put through…God tests him more who is near to Him…Recommend

  • Asif J Raja

    Sarmad was different so is his legacy .. We are equally proud of females like you .. May his soul Rest in peaceRecommend

  • haroonrashidfrompakistan

    Brave and inspirational couple.Recommend

  • Fezan

    What a great man he must be, that you learnt so wise things of life. RIP Sarmad TariqRecommend

  • Zoya Ishaq

    Sarmad Bhai never failed to surprise us with his unique set of beliefs, thoughts, words, ideas. Still can’t accept he is no more. You must be very courageous. He mentioned you at his sessions too. Thank you for sharing this :)Recommend