I am glad I was a failure

Success is something that most people aim for, others might consider it as the unreachable, they might think of it as a gift that is offered only to the lucky ones. Its definition defers from one person to another as well as its effect. A person who has always been succeeding in his life might consider success as something natural, it doesn’t need any effort and well, it just happens!

Our understanding of “success”, begins at an early age, it begins at school, where they start evaluating us based on certain criteria that divides the students in two categories “the successful” and “the unsuccessful”.

It even becomes a label: “uh never mind him/her, he/she is “unsuccessful”, he/she failed his/her class”. At school, our perception of life begins and its effects are carried inside us all our lives. When I was a student, difference wasn’t much appreciated and labeling was a “norm”, it was even very popular not among students only but among teachers as well. Some teachers actually humiliated their students for failing a test, they grounded the ones who couldn’t follow the system, to them “difference” was a synonym to a “sin”.

A month ago, I was asked to help a teenage boy in his studies, “a failure”, that can’t manage to study alone or pass his exams and if he continues this way he might fail his class. I never had an experience in teaching before and didn’t really know if it’s going to work, but I was genuinely willing to help. He came to me stressed, full of worries and doubt, he couldn’t focus and was very uninterested in his studies, he felt bored even from the thought of studying. “what can I do? How can I make him interested?” at some point I felt helpless, I myself became stressed and I thought of just quitting and leaning the responsibility on someone else.

But something stopped me and made me step back and think, his stories about his successful friends, how one made a discovery and another won a scholarship, what was about these stories? Why is he telling me about them?

– “what’s your dream?” I asked him

– “I don’t have one!” he answered.

– “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

– “I want to work”

– “in what field? what’s your dream?”

– “I don’t know, I don’t have a dream, dreams don’t happen”

A boy at his age saying this was a bit disappointing and sad, I couldn’t understand how a boy like him, as special and smart as he is didn’t have a dream. So, I insisted and asked again.

  • “if dreams actually happen, what would your dream be?”
  • “I like to study computer science.”

So, he has a dream but he is just afraid of getting disappointed. The thought of quitting was still on my mind. I didn’t want to give up on him, but me making an effort alone wasn’t going to get us anywhere. His efforts are essential in order for him to succeed.

One day as I was driving, I heard someone on the radio saying “if you want someone to act nicely, treat him as he already is a nice person.”

“He is right” I thought to myself.

The other day, while I was teaching the boy, he was unfocused and uninterested, and every time I said to him that he is smart, he just mocked me. I got angry!

“I can’t do this anymore, I’m sorry! I just can’t”.

I left full of anger, I needed some fresh air to clear my mind. Then I came back and decided to actually talk to him and tell him honestly what I was thinking.

I told him that I never taught before, and that teaching isn’t really my thing but I care for him and I know that he is a really smart boy, all he needs is to focus and actually study and if he is not willing to collaborate, my time is precious and I’m not willing to waste it. And again, he mocked me for saying that he is smart. I looked him in his eyes with an extreme sincerity, I said but you really are a smart boy.

And that was actually enough for him to change. He didn’t only succeed, he excelled!

That teenage boy is a lesson and a true inspiration for everyone including myself, for success isn’t “fate”, success is a decision, it is a choice we make. failure isn’t a lifetime virtue or something to be ashamed of. On the opposite, one cannot really appreciate success unless he experiences failure.












Personal thoughts, غير مصنف

Things that make life bearable

I miss writing and making my thoughts readable. A few weeks ago I was wondering, do I really enjoy writing? What if I don’t? What if am I convincing myself that I do?

I wasn’t able to write a whole month, maybe I was testing myself. And here I am today begging to grab a pen, any piece of paper, to just set my thoughts free! Only God knows how much I love writing. A passion that I will never doubt again hopefully.

Through the several weeks, I touched the importance of dreams, I discovered that some people, some kids, and teenagers who are usually the best dreamers aren’t allowed to dream or don’t want to because they simply believe that dreams never come true because that’s what they have been taught. Such a misery, not being able to dream, living a life with no purpose.

Albert Einstein says: “Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.”

Dreaming needs courage, it needs patience will and hard work. Some people say that dreams are called dreams because they are linked to the unreal, they think that they should be realized magically without any intervention. Yet we forget that our current reality is made of what’s so-called “dreams” that didn’t just happen thanks to a magician, a fairy or a wizard. These dreams only happened because of us “human”.

Creating the machine that flies was once a dream, it didn’t just happen overnight, the Wright brothers failed so many times before they actually invented the machine that flies “the airplane”.

So as for the cars, radios, television, and computers etc…At first, each of the mentioned was dreams and ideas. But a Dream doesn’t have to be about a new invention or so, a dream can be small or big it doesn’t matter, but having a dream means having a purpose, a goal to live by each day. A target that pushes you to keep moving forward and makes you want to wake up each morning with a smile on your face, knowing that today I will be a day closer to achieving my dream.

You might think that I want it fast, I want to just wake up and be the best fashion designer in the world or the best actor, editor, architect, lawyer, musician, writer… Yes but things don’t just happen, you can’t become the best at anything unless you practice. That’s the secret of the most successful people, they practice. If they love something they keep doing it and doing it because they simply love it, they don’t get bothered or annoyed, they don’t feel obliged to do it, they just enjoy the process because they know that practice is the key!

Perfection doesn’t come overnight, I always had that problem, I wanted things to happen fast, when I used to draw, I couldn’t wait to finish the drawing as soon as possible. I was actually fast but the drawing wasn’t perfect. When finished, it always contained some tiny flaws and that annoyed me a lot, and fixing the flaws made me ruin the whole drawing, the same as for writing, I always wanted to finish writing a story fast so I neglected the middle and jumped into the finish. And that makes the middle that is usually full of details, the body where the problems get solved lose its “charm”.

In a fast world it is really hard to wait, and be patient. But you know what? Life is actually long and if u can get everything u want in just one day, then what’s the purpose of living?

One should learn how to wait and accept the flaws because these flaws are what actually make something “perfect”. (Oh If you want to know what I mean, you might want to check some pictures of “Benedict Cumberbatch” eyes. He has an eye condition known as sectoral heterochromia that makes his eyes color a mixture of green blue and gold, I mean if that isn’t perfect what is?!)

In Sum, nothing is impossible! Dreams, ambition, and love are the things that make life bearable. (That and movies!)

Well, in the end, I discovered that writing is really my passion and that I have some really weird thoughts which are the results of my “overthinking” habit. But I’m okay with that as long as it keeps leading me to great conclusions.













Pulp fiction: a real piece of art


Pulp/n. 1. A soft, moist, shapeless mass of matter.

  1. A magazine or book containing lurid subject matter and being characteristically printed on rough, unfinished paper

Pulp Fiction, a dark comedy on which Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary won an Oscar for “Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen” and many other awards like the Golden Globes and BAFTA. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction was released in 1994 the movie was one of the movies made during the 90’s for it does not follow the chronological order, and it even contains long lines yet the feeling of boredom can never hit you while watching it.

It starts with a definition, followed by a scene that just put you “INSIDE” the movie. No introductions and no regular beginnings. Just a definition of “pulp” followed by a scene that would normally be in the middle, but when it’s Tarantino the middle can be anywhere. The movie communicates 4 different stories in which violence and comedy are common, and by consequence, the existence of more than one plot in this movie is necessary and justified.

Honey Bunny, Pumpkin, Vincent Vega, Jules Winnfield, Mia Wallace, Butch Coolidge and Marcellus Wallace are the main characters, each one of them is facing his own problem that is independent of the other yet related.

This movie resembles real life, where everyone has his own reality that is independent of the other, but each reality affects the other’s life path. By example in the scene that joins Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield (John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson) when the two of them got shot by a young men hidden in the bathroom, the bullets miss them in a very miraculous way, and that causes Jules to take a decision to turn from killing people and live a more peaceful life and this exact decision saved the life of honey bunny and pumpkin when they were rubbing the restaurant in which Vincent and Jules were eating.

The briefcase that Vincent and Jules were on a mission to bring it back, remains a mystery to the code that unlocks it was 666, the devil’s symbol, and the light that came out of the case may refer to a devilish soul’s that might belong to Marcellus who is mostly seen throughout the movie from his back, with a reddish- satanic ambiance surrounding him.

Regarding the soundtrack used in the movie, it consists of a mix American rock and roll, surf rock, pop, soul and country songs. That fits exactly with the spirit of the film.

Pulp fiction cannot be resumed in one article, for it needs a whole document to analyze it because it is a non-ordinary script and movie, a real piece of art. Excellent script, acting skills, and directing. In short, for the ones who still didn’t watch this movie, I really recommend it to you and for the ones who already did, seeing it again will not do any harm.

Ninette Abi Atallah



Personal thoughts, غير مصنف

You – A Best Seller Christmas Book

“Starting clean, on an empty white paper, where none of the last mistakes exist, no feelings of regret or guilt. A simple white paper waiting to be filled again with new stories, characters, and thoughts. A white paper as pure as a little kid’s heart…”

Few days and Christmas will be here. We’ll be gathered with our families around the table, sharing dinner and beautiful moments filled with laughter and exchanging gifts near the Christmas tree celebrating the birth of Jesus, the 25th of December.

As a child mom once said to me: “When Jesus was born, Virgin Mary and Saint Josef didn’t have a place to stay in so they stayed in a stable where Jesus was born in a very cold and small place, yet filled with warmth and richness of love. But today celebrating his birth, Jesus has the most precious and bigger place to stay in, He has you, and he will be staying in your heart forever”

At the time, Jesus staying in my heart wasn’t a notion I could really understand, it was like an ambiguous thought, a mystery, and a seed that mom planted in my mind.

Growing up, I noticed that in poetry and literature they always refer to the heart when talking about love and that in the bible, Jesus says: “I and the Father are one.”– John 10:30 and “Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love” – 1 John 4:8.

Hence Jesus is love and every time we experience the feeling of love toward a friend, a relative or a stranger we will be actually meeting God who’s living inside us. That explains those feelings we get when we actually sense the existence of miracles in life, when we are happy, peaceful, and when we’re simply in love. We might think that: “It just feels like Christmas!”

In addition, our notion and definition of Christmas are basically based on movies that emphasize the importance of believing, forgiving and loving. I love those Christmas movies and I never get bored of watching them again and again. However, some tend to criticize people’s way of celebrating Christmas by only caring about the presents and Santa. Yes maybe they are right, sometimes we tend to forget the true essence of Christmas, sometimes we get busy with the ways of celebration that we almost forget why we’re actually celebrating.

Yet Christmas, the real one still exists! The last day as I was stuck in the traffic at “Antelias” there was a guy driving in front of me, he was offering small toys for children who were walking between our cars selling gums instead of being at their homes playing. That guy succeeded in drawing a smile on those little children’s’ faces. No cameras were shooting him, he wasn’t going live on TV, YouTube or Facebook. A total stranger was being a “Real Santa” for those kids who might not even know what Santa is.

So we can’t blame our kids for dreaming about Santa and waiting for their gifts under the Christmas tree, or blaming adults for spending and buying gifts. We were kids once and we all waited for Christmas. I used to do it myself, writing a letter to Santa and waiting for him by the window since we didn’t have a chimney and till now I still wait for my gift each year and appreciate it no matter what it is and how much it costs. It feels beautiful to feel that someone actually thought of you.

Nice people with beautiful minds and hearts are everywhere, people who care and help others without being even asked. People who actually understand and live Christmas truly.

So this year let us be: “an empty white paper, where none of the last mistakes exist, no feelings of regret or guilt. A simple white paper waiting to be filled again with new stories, characters, and thoughts. A white paper as pure as a little kid’s heart, a paper that doesn’t judge, and condemns people guilty of just being human,”. because each one of us is the best seller Christmas Book waiting its turn to shine and spread magic.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with love and only love ❤







philosophy, psychology

Manipulation: A connection for a small duration

“- Don’t trust that person he’s a manipulator

– What is a manipulator?”

Well, if you look it up in the dictionary you will find the next definition:

Verb (used with object), manipulated, manipulating.

  1. To manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner:

To manipulate people’s feelings.

Usually, the object of manipulation is a thing, a machine for example, and when people are treated as “things” they become also the object of manipulation.

While manipulation can be one trait for certain types of personalities such as the psychopaths, narcissists, and sociopaths, the latter aren’t aware of doing the act of manipulation. Yet There is another type of manipulation, studied and taught as a “science”, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), a method created for controlling people’s mind. The manipulator is intentionally using certain techniques in order to manipulate others so he/she can get to plant ideas into other people’s mind and make them feel as if it’s their own. Invented by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s, NLP became popularly used in marketing, advertising, and politics in the 1980’s.

One of these techniques is mirroring, imitating the other’s person gestures, body language, and speech mannerism. They also observe attentively the other person to pick up certain cues like the skin flush, pupil dilation, and eyes movements. This allows them to define which side of the brain is used more often, that they can define memories from lies and imagination. For example, if someone looks to his left he is probably trying to remember something. On the other hand looking to his right indicates more creative thoughts.

Normally when two people share a certain connection with each other, like friends, lovers, family etc… they tend to mirror each other unconsciously. And therefore if someone mirror you consciously you’ll get that feeling of “familiarity”.

That actually did happen to me, with a fan of NLP who on our first meeting was mirroring my body language, “there was something weird about his body language” I told myself.

His weirdness wasn’t only restricted to his body language, the way that person talked was weird as well because it seemed to me that he had many different personalities that made me think that he has conflicts, Yet it was him forgetting to control his behavior ( voice, gestures, tonality etc.. ).To make myself clear, I am not totally against NLP because it could be very helpful for people who work in sales or for the people who find it difficult to socialize and maintain a conversation, yet I’m totally against it when it transforms you into a fake person, moving around trying to prove to yourself that you can “control” people, by making them trust you so you can know their weaknesses and deepest secrets and therefore use them for your own advantage.

Winning friends throughout NLP is nothing but temporary because real relationships cannot be fooled, manipulated or controlled. A fake connection can be easily built but it won’t last like a real one. So if you want to maintain real relationships, stay real even if you think your reality is a bit weird, awkward or different. At the end, there are no rules of how you should be, and the best way into to enter people’s hearts and minds is honesty.

Oh, by the way, I never told that person that I knew what he was doing because I wanted to test how skillful he was,  yeah well not very skilled.



“Amour” – when love meets pain

« Amour » – « love » – « amore » – « amor » etc…

I’ve always had my own definition of love, or at least that’s what I thought until I found out that my “own” definition is everyone else’s definition, which is basically inspired by movies and romantic stories. Movies that always end where real life actually starts. However, there is one movie that really captivated my attention after watching it and it’s called “AMOUR”, the French word for Love.

“Amour” released in 2012 is a French-language romantic drama film written and directed by Michael Hanake. The film is a winner of the Palme D’or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert.

As its title, “Amour” shows a unique love story between an elderly couple, Anne and Georges, retired music teachers who have a daughter named Eva living abroad.

Usually when reading a book, some people tend to jump into the last page so they can know the ending, and then they continue reading. That’s a privilege “amour” gives to its viewers, the movie starts with what is supposed to be “the last scene”, in which the firemen break into the house to discover the dead body of an old lady laid on her bed, surrounded by flowers with the bedroom’s doors left open.

In the following scenes, the chronological order is resumed; we get to meet the main characters, Anne, Georges and their daughter Eva. It is well seen that the couple are living a happy, loving and relaxed life, until one day while having their breakfast, Anne had her first stroke. She then goes under a surgery that fails and causes her to become half paralyzed. She asks Georges to promise to never bring her back to the hospital. At first Anne seems to be adapting to her new condition … we see her controlling her chair and playing with it but unfortunately her state deteriorated. Keeping his promise Georges starts taking care of her by himself using sometimes the help of nurses.

While watching the movie I couldn’t but really see and feel the true definition of unconditional love, yes the husband eventually decides to kill his wife, and actually does it  ….but isn’t this what Anne wants? Wasn’t all the movie about Georges actually making everything as Anne wanted?

Well maybe yes and maybe not because there was a scene in which Georges was having a dream, in which someone was suffocating him, was this wrinkled hand that he saw, his or Anne’s? Was it a projection of what he was feeling or of what he is willing and wanting to do later?

Despite all of the reasons and what the director wanted to transmit throughout the movie, we can’t but appreciate Georges. He kept on taking care of his wife and making sure that she wasn’t neglected because when he found out that her nurse was mistreating her, she was instantly fired.

“Amour” is one of the best movies I ever watched and that’s because of its beauty and the meaning it presents. Yes it is sad, it makes you worry about what might happen to you when you grow older, when you become less strong and it will bring tears to your eyes. It also shows you cruelty, fear, pain and love for even if this isn’t happening to you right now or to someone you may know, it is actually happening to someone somewhere around the world. “Amour” shows the reality of life where pain and love coexists. Growing old with someone you love and still having untold stories to share, where you might find the other person gentle and at one point a monster.

For the one interested in a real romantic and life-like movie, I totally recommend “Amour”, because by the end of the movie your definition of love will change into something more beautiful and more real.

Ninette Abi Atallah

Brain On Fire





Boredom: A state of mind and more.

“- Do you ever get bored?

 – Never! I just have no time to feel so, I’m always busy.”

Nowadays, most of the people tend to be very busy, they even forget how boredom feels like, yet there are some people who still get bored in a world full of distraction means like television, smartphones and social media. In addition, the level of boredom differs from one person to another based on one’s interests, emotional state and the ability to focus.

Yesterday while I was at a seminar, I observed the other students’ reactions: some of them slept, others surfed the internet, some were chatting, some were drawing, and some chose to leave while others stayed focused the entire period.

Everyone was going through the same experience, in the same place with similar circumstances yet each of them had different reaction and degree of boredom.

The psychology dictionary defines boredom as “a state of weariness with one’s environment and lack of interest in any stimulus. This develops mostly as a result of stimuli having been either non-existent or too repetitive, and thus, tedious.”

While everyone agrees on the definition of boredom, there is more than one cause for it, like the ones listed below:

Monotonous task: a task which is insufficiently stimulating.

Constraint: the extent to which one is forced to remain in a particular situation, location or activity. Individuals do not like losing their freedom of choice so when individuals feel forced to work on a task they will find it less interesting.

Time drag: time seems to drag or pass more slowly when one is bored (Wyatt 1929). But some individuals enjoy working on a repetitive task because they will be performing thoughtlessly and automatically, and therefore time will seem like it’s passing by faster to them.

Age: Studies have shown that young people seem to experience boredom more frequently and that’s why you tend to hear teenagers nagging about being bored more than adults.

Intelligence: some theorists suggest that people with higher intelligence are more likely to get bored on a repetitive task, that’s generally the main cause of children’s hyperactivity who tend to understand things quickly and therefore lose interest more quickly.

Chronic or pathological boredom: boredom could be a depression symptom where the subject loses interest in things he used to enjoy in addition to difficulty in paying attention and a feeling of emptiness and alienation.

The causes of boredom are plenty, some experience it a lot, some hate it and others find it helpful. Personally, People who know me well, notice that I get bored easily, and to me that’s a gift because I find boredom really beneficial, since it allows me to meditate, think and keep learning new stuff, not to forget that boredom is the open door to creativity and philosophy.

Ninette Abi Atallah

Other Articles:
A Bit More Than A Coincidence
It Just Feels RIGHT
When Good Isn’t Enough