My dad you used to say “everything in life is on the other side of hard.” I love that quote. He would likewise always remind me as fast as one can rise, that person can likewise fall even faster. And to make sure my parents covered all their basis, mom used to say “cover your candle so it stays lit.”

My name is Mounir Gad and I was born and raised here in Northern California (Silicon Valley). I’m about to turn 35 in August. While I’m technically 35, I’ve done a lot of things and traveled far and wide. Lot of miles on these tires. As i approach 35 I figured it is as good a time as ever to reflect on my three and a half decades on this planet.

One thing I can tell you for certain is that life is a rollercoaster; there are a lot of ups, downs and unexpected turns. Through it all I have learned various life lessons that, when practiced consistently and tailored to one’s own personal circumstance, will lead to a happier, more fulfilling life. As I here on a bench in my parents backyard in Los Gatos, CA (A bench which may or may not have “Mounir Gad was here” carved in it), I put pen to paper to help drop some knowledge on lessons I’ve learned.

While it may sound a lot easier said than done, here is a list to ways to nurture a healthy, happy, and purpose filled life.

  1. Start & and your day the same way – with gratitude. I try to wake up, read the bible, and pray so I can give thanks to God for my blessings. I end my day with the same thing – giving thanks. I try to make a list of 3 things I’m grateful for each day.
  2. Hydrate – it amazes me how many of my family and friends do not drink water. Drink half your body wight in ounces. I weigh 200 pounds, so I drink 100oz of H2o per day. Yes, I pee a lot. What of it? in all seriousness, hydrating has endless benefits. A representative example includes better sleep, more energy, better skin, alertness, suppressed appetite, less headaches, and more preventing you from not consuming other things (ie if you’re drinking water, you’re not drinking soda; if you’re full off water, you’re not getting full on snacks; if you’re constantly peeing, then….well i cant think of anything, but you get the point.)
  3. Smile and laugh everyday. Choose to make the day worth living.
  4. Let go of pain. Do your best – certain pain is harder than other kinds, but everything in life is a choice. Do your best to choose to not let whatever it is take you down. Ultimately if you can survive the storm. If you don’t let said storm sink you and you are able to merge, then you’ll be better for it for the rest of your life and always have that armor and experience to help.
    *Special shout out to my Parents (Mary & Nagy Gad) and my sister and brother ( Sabrina & Joe Abboud) who have been there for me in the darkest of times — which leads me to the next point….
  5. Lean on your people. Don’t be prideful. That’s why they are “your people.”
  6. Be in the Moment. You can always remember the past, but you only get one shot for today.
  7. You are in control of your emotions. Don’t let others tell you how to feel and don’t expect someone to change the way you feel.
  8. Stay weird. There’s only one you. Be unique. We are all different, and that’s the beautiful thing about life. Don’t apologize or change for anyone – be you and be proud of what that is and what it means. I used to be embarrassed of my name. I was definitely the only Mounir Gad in the class — every year. I would get bullied all the time, and was determined to change my name whenever I was able. Luckily, i grew up from that not-so-mature thought process. I love my name. I love t hat it is unique. and now, the people that used to bully me, send me Facebook messages saying wow look at you now, sure wish I treated you better in 3rd grade.
  9. Value experiences, not material objects. Declutter yourself and fill your mind with memories that can’t be taken away.

    I always love saying that m y goal is to “MAKE MOMENTS, NOT MINUTES.”
  10. You didn’t get here by yourself. Appreciate those around you that helped you get where you are today.
  11. Be your biggest fan. Always bet on yourself. Each and every one of us IS GOOD ENOUGH. Do not let anyone or anything deter you from believing that. You’re stuck with yourself so learn to love you.
  12. Enjoy your successes. You earned it. Don’t forget to stop, look back, and tell yourself “job will done.”
  13. Know how to bounce back from failure. Fail early and fail often. Learn and adapt. Make it through that storm, and forge ahead, even if early on it’s just aby steps – take some sort of step forward nonetheless.
  14. Do what you love and love what you do. Find a way to make your passion your life’s purpose. If you’re not sure how to do this, then keep trying.
  15. You only have one body. Your body’s a temple. Worship it and keep it healthy.
  16. Take ownership for your actions. We all make mistakes. There’s no use in blaming others. Own up and move on.
  17. Surround yourself with others that make you feel good. If you’re in a toxic relationship, then you have the choice to get out. You deserve the right to be happy.
  18. Find a partner that makes you the best version of yourself. You deserve to be happy. The “one” will truly want this for you as well.
  19. Never give up on your dreams. Anything is possible. You just have to believe it and keep after it even if it’s not easy.
  20. Be patient. Things take time. Rushing leads to errors. If it’s meant to happen it’ll happen.
  21. Stop talking and listen. Engage, don’t broadcast. The best conversations start with listening.

    Do not forget that God gave us two ears and one mouth…
  22. Don’t let others bring you down. Believe in yourself. If you think it’s possible, then that’s all that matters.
  23. Don’t sweep problems under a rug. Ignoring problems can lead to build ups that are set to explode. Take the time to understand what happened and why.
  24. Step out of your comfort zone. Try something new. You may like it.
  25. Know how to adjust when things don’t go your way. Things rarely end up the way you planned it. Learn to be open to new ideas and opportunities.
  26. Genuine gratitude goes a long way. Take the time to make someone else’s day brighter. Positive energy spreads like wildfire.
  27. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. It doesn’t matter if you fall. Pick yourself back up and finish what you started.
  28. Live within your means. Debt will consume your happiness. If you can’t afford it, then you don’t need it.
  29. Give without expecting in return. Positive deeds always find a way back to you. Don’t expect it. It will find its way back.
  30. Have a positive mental attitude. Negativity is a disease. Positive energy will help you through any situation you encounter.
  31. Manifest your dreams into reality. The mind is a powerful tool. If you’re driven and consistent in approach, then you’ll continue getting closer to achieving what you want.
  32. You can’t control others. We all have free will. You may not always agree with those around you (family, friends, strangers), but you have to respect their decisions.
  33. Learn from your mistakes. Your best teacher is your last mistake. Every misstep is a growth opportunity. Sulking or wallowing in self pity won’t get you anywhere. Take the time to understand what went wrong and what you would do differently in the future.
  34. A boat floats until it sinks. As long as you’re still breathing, there’s still a chance to turn things around. Giving up should never be an option.
  35. Always do “the next right thing.” I try and break things down into micro goals

If you’re not doing some of the above, consider adopting it. It may help change your life for the better. It took me 30 years to figure all this out.

What concepts do you live by to positively impact your life? Tell me in the comments field below. I love sharing what thoughts I have but I love learning from you all even more. A rising tide does, after all, lift all ships.

More soon. Take care, guys.


Mounir Gad
Silicon Valley, CA