Marie Quigley and Arslan Athar

Empower World Director and Business Manager

Marie: Good morning. Good evening. Good afternoon wherever you are in the world. This is Marie Quigley from Empower World. And this morning I'm without my business partner because I've just jumped on the call with our amazing Arslan Athar who many of you in Empower World will know, but maybe those of you who aren't in our Empower World community - maybe you won't know him yet, but he's our Business Manager and he's doing some incredible work. And we've just popped on a call to have a chat and the chat has led into something quite beautiful.

And I just said to Arslan can we pause? And can we start a podcast? Because I think this would be really important for a lot of our listeners to hear what you are saying. So Arslan Good morning.

Arslan: Good morning Marie.

Marie: How are you?

Arslan: I'm good. Thank you for having me on this podcast. How about yourself? How are you doing?

Marie: I'm really good and really excited about the conversation we've just had and that's why I wanted to stop it Arslan and capture it because it brought tears to my eyes what we were talking about. Now the listeners are thinking what on earth is she talking about? But let me give a little bit of background or actually I'm going to hand it over to you Arslan. Give a little bit of background of what you have created in your world recently and what you're doing with your magnificent music. And then we'll talk about something that really touched you and supported you to realize something big that allowed you to put this dream into practice. So, tell our listeners about what you've created Arslan.

Arslan: Again, Marie thank you so very much for having me on this show. God has been really kind and my world has literally changed in like no time.  First of all I've been creating music for almost 20 years. I have created around almost three albums but I have not published them or released them. But recently I released a song for the upcoming Cricket World Cup and it has received such a tremendous response in like just three days. I have received over a hundred and sixty thousand views on it only on Facebook, and then YouTube, and then other Facebook pages are posting this video on their own. So I mean the response has been crazy and I've been in touch with the top industry people here in Pakistan. I've spoken to dozens of the top industry leading artists and all of them have given me such a great response.

People have promised me to invite me to the TV shows. My song is playing on Radio on FM all over Pakistan on more than 20 channels. Event managers have reached out to me and they have promised me to feature in some of the biggest music events in Pakistan. And it's just because of - I would say - I mean if I look back and I see how things changed for me I would say that there was one big turning point and one big learning that I came across, which actually changed everything about how I look at things and how I look at my music and my artistic side.

Marie: And Arslan, as you said you've been making music for 20 years and it's been beautiful music: inspiring music! And Jeanine and I, when you first came onboard to work with us - how long ago is that now Arslan?

Arslan: Almost three years.

Marie: Almost three years. And your talent! You're incredibly talented in what you do with the work you do with us. And it's because of your emotional intelligence, your empathy, your highly intuitive working with people and everybody whose path you come across - they tell us what a difference you make in their lives. But I remember three years ago, when we first met, you shared a piece of music that you've created. Jeanine and I were pretty blown away and you said that that was part of your dream. And we've always loved the fact that you've had this passion and desire to create music for the world.

And suddenly, as you say this piece that you've created, which is so lively so beautiful really inspiring I keep playing in my house and dancing around with joy at the thought of your gorgeous voice but also the fact that you've actually put it out for the world. So you told me something before our podcast that really touched me and it was something about letting go of perfectionism. So would you say more about that?

Arslan: Exactly. First of all thank you so very much Marie. I'm so glad that you like it. And you find lovely and you're able to dance on it. That's exactly what I was talking about this turning point. So while doing, obviously I mean the podcast that we released, the back end work - I take care of all of that - and obviously I listen to our podcasts and I was listening to this podcast. And that was right after I joined Empower World. And it's episode 81. It's called perfection is imperfection.

When I was listening to this podcast something struck me big time. And for the first time in my life I realized that perfectionism is not such a good thing because normally, I mean at least here in Pakistan, the people I know they take pride in calling themselves perfectionists. And I used to do the same.

I mean whenever I created a piece of music, I recorded a song, people would tell me that it sounds good but I was never happy myself. I always found things to improve in it. And I always thought that I need to improve myself. I need to do this. I need to do that. I have to practice harder and so on. And it took away 10 to 15 important years of my life and I was still not ready. And I didn't know how I would get ready to share my work with the world.

And then I came across this podcast. And for the first time in my life I realized that perfectionism is not such a good thing. And every single word that I listened to in that podcast made sense to me. It made absolute sense. And after that, I'm talking about like almost two and a half years ago, so obviously it's not that I've just experienced something and I'm on a high and I'm saying all of this, I actually implemented the idea in my life and everything I look at. Now I realize that it's absolutely true: that basically imperfection is perfection when you try to perfect something, it becomes kind of mechanical.

And then the art side of it, you know, is left behind. So yeah. And this changed my world. Not for my music only, but everything that I do, the way I look at things, the way I look at people and at their work. So yeah this was the biggest learning that I've had in in a long time. And it has shaped my life in a way that I could never imagine.

Marie: Well Arslan thank you for sharing. I'm trusting that some of the listeners listening in will get the same shivers that I got when you shared that before the podcast. And that's why I thought let's capture it because actually perfectionism stopped so many people from getting their unique gift out into the world. And as a recovering perfectionist myself - from the fear of other people judging my work or not being good enough or, really it boils down to the decision that I make about me not being good enough - that has stopped me in so many areas of my life.

And it was also a big learning that perfectionism just doesn't exist or it exists in our head. But there's no such thing as perfect. Imperfect is perfection because we can always look at things in different way of doing something. But if we don't just trust that we're doing our best. It's not about not doing your best right. This is about doing your best but recognizing that it's the pursuit of perfectionism will stop us being creative. It will stop us, I think, being brave and putting our gift out into the world.

Arslan: I completely agree Marie. And that is what was happening with me. And ever since I overcame this perfectionism syndrome: I mean my life has changed honestly speaking, like every day. And everybody I come across that I know who has a perfectionist approach towards life, I share this with them: I share my story with them.

Marie: And what's the response? Because for perfectionists there is a big fear behind being seen often Arslan. So if we're afraid of people judging us or ourselves judging ourselves, we often don't take action and do what we need to do. So when a perfectionist hears that, what's the response?

Arslan: As I said, normally in our society, people think that being a perfectionist is a good thing. They think that it's a good skill to have. And so maybe they confuse hard work with perfectionism, and as you just said, that we need to put in hard work. We need to make sure that we are making enough efforts to be where we want to be or to do what we want to do. But there is a very thin line I believe between being a perfectionist and being a hard worker. So normally people don't take it that openly. I'll be honest with you. People are not very responsive towards it.

Marie: Well we always say whenever we're working with people - Jeanine and I - we only hear what we're ready to hear and when we're ready to hear it. And you were obviously ready to hear that. You need to let go perfectionism.

Arslan: I'm glad that I was. I'm so thankful that I was able to receive it and I was able to make changes in my life, because as I just said as it has made a big impact in my life.

Marie: Me too. I'm so proud of you. I'm so inspired by you. And I think it's also worth saying that letting go of perfectionism doesn't mean we let go as you said of doing our very best. I just want to make sure, because there's a difference from internal striving to be the best we can and perfectionism. Internal striving to do the very best means that we care about what we do, so we want to put the best work out in what we can in the world. But it doesn't mean it has to be perfect.

Arslan: Exactly. The thumb rule that I've come up with is: I don't do a lot of revisions in my work. So, what I do is I give my best and then I review it once or twice or maximum thrice and that's it. And with different perspectives. And this is another learning that I actually had from one of the podcasts, that even by just changing your standing position or sitting position, perspectives change. So what I do is I look at my work once I'm done with my work in different environments and I look at my work like maximum as I said twice. Twice is actually more than enough for me to be honest with you, or may be three times and then I just share it with the people and I just go with the flow.

Marie: I'm hearing Arslan that these podcasts are really useful or have been useful to you. And so I'm trusting that those listening to our podcasts, they're also getting out of what we share, what they need to hear. So Arslan as we're wrapping up. If you could speak to one person that had something to give to the world but was too scared or didn't believe they were enough or didn't believe that what they creating was quite perfect yet. What would you say to them?

Arslan: I would say just have faith in yourself and if you ever felt that whatever you have created is good enough to be shared with the world, and now you're thinking that it's not, just share it. Just share it and be ready to be shocked and surprised with the response that you will get. If you ever for a single second believed in yourself and felt that what you're creating or have created is good enough to be shared with the world, just go out there and share it. And as I said, be ready for all the surprises and the love that you'll be receiving.

Marie: So Arslan. You've shared some wonderful things about your aha's and then also you took action and made this wonderful piece of music happen and of course it's cricket time and that piece of music is playing all over Pakistan. And I'm trusting it will play all over the world. How can our listeners find out about this piece of music and maybe other music that you've done too Arslan.

Arslan: You can find me find me on Facebook by my name, that's Arslan Athar, and on YouTube and twitter as well. I've just created an account on Instagram as well. I mean I just created it a couple of days ago. So I'm everywhere on all the Social Media platforms. Just search me by my name and you will find me.

Marie: That's fantastic. And one last thing I'm really curious about Arslan. What do your kids think about this? What do your kids think about dad being this - sharing with the world his music.

Arslan: They know all my songs and they sing my songs I believe better than myself. And for three weeks every day. The first question after getting up my daughter asked was, “Has your video come out? Is it ready now? I want to see it.”

I mean, so the kids are super excited about this. And yeah I wish that their interest remains in music when they grow up. I believe that if they make their own music, I'd be the happiest dad.

Marie: Oh Arslan. And let's hope that message that you just shared with the world about letting go of perfectionism and trusting that you are enough. Let's hope that is passed down to your children as well.

Arslan: Yes. I hope so.

Marie: That's something we can do for our kids is to help them work hard. Put that work ethic in them but also realize that they have a gift and they need to share it with the world and they are enough. That is the best thing we can do as parents.

Arslan: Absolutely. I totally agree.

Marie: Arslan Thank you so much for those wise wise words. So listeners we really encourage you to listen to what Arslan has to say. If you've got something to share with the world. Time flies by so quickly. Let's not waste 20 years. Let's not waste 10 years not let's not even waste one more year. Put it out there let yourself be seen and take the learning that comes with it and the feedback that comes with it. And if things need to change that's OK. You can do that and if you never know it might just be wonderful as it is. Arslan Thank you so much for being here this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.

Arslan: Thank you so very much for having me Marie.

Marie: Listeners we'll see you wherever you are in the world. We hope you're enjoying our podcast and we'd love you to share your thoughts experiences what you're learning from the work we put out. And also if you've got any ideas for podcasts you'd like to listen to any topics. Please let us know. Have a wonderful day.


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