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Tousif Jamal

'What is the purpose of life? Why are we in this world for a limited time? Have you ever asked yourself such questions? Have you found the answers to the questions? We are here to leave a legacy, to be remembered for our work, our ideas. Each one of us are here to achieve greatness. And to achieve greatness in life, we need focus.
Focus is one of the vital things in life…if you want to thrive that is. And losing your focus can leave scars on your life. There was a time when I lost it. And the following is my story about life. These are like my words of wisdom about life and keeping up with it, in order to prosper. So here it goes.
Since adolescence, I had been an avid reader. My friends had hobbies like playing sports and collecting stamps, while mine was reading books. Being the bookworm I am, I encountered a wide range of topics from anthropology to philosophy. A bookish individual indeed! Yes, you may call me a nerd.  
Back in school- I enjoyed the academics. My favorite subjects were History and Mathematics. And my thirst for knowledge reflected my grades. During my O'level, I bagged 9 A’s, scored at least 90% in 6 subjects, and received the world’s highest marks in Human Biology. It really thrilled me. And I was determined to pursue a career in medicine after high school.  
After my O'level results my parents sent me to Dhaka for A'level. Given my academic performance, they had big dreams for me. I was quite the dreamer. Then around that time I started browsing the internet for top ranked universities around the world. It all seemed well.
So either ways I enrolled in one of the top high schools in Dhaka. It was a new beginning for me. Things seemed so different, and for the first time in my life, I lived away from my folks. I was independent- did what I liked and wanted. I felt liberated. But after a while things started to fall apart. And for the very first time I didn’t have control of my life. It started crumbling!  And I began experimenting and experiencing things I never had. I acquainted with bad company and bunked classes to play cricket. It was clear that I was transforming into someone new. Someone I never intended to be. My metamorphosis was not a good one. It was clear- when I had to give my A’level, within the 2 years. I wasn’t ready for the exams and I knew things weren’t going well, but I couldn’t help myself as I was out of control.
Then my results were out- an A in Mathematics, B in Physics and Chemistry, and a D in Biology. I felt devastated and my dreams were shattered. My parents were disappointed. After that- I went to my village, in Chittagong. Spent a month alone there, and reflected my life. I sort of had my answer. I knew what was wrong and what element was missing from my life.  
It was focus! Yes, Focus. I lacked focus! And I returned to Dhaka and prepared for the university exams. My folks decided to not send me abroad for my undergrad. They felt that I needed to be more mature. In 2007, I made it to the best business school in Bangladesh, where I competed with more than 6,000 candidates for 110 spots. It motivated me and from then on I never looked back. I have always had focus ever since.

August 11, 2016
About Author

Tousif Jamal is a Management Consultant based in the Netherlands. He helps startups in Bangladesh expand their business in the European market. He may reached at

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