The “What Made You Smile Today” Notebook

Hey 🙂

I wanted to write and tell  you about today’s incident with one of my students, and then found myself drifting to lessons it reminded me to share with you too, so here i go:

My accident..near death accident in the UK 2 years ago, the reason i opened this blog to keep myself sane in ways and take a risk to give, to feel others may benefit from how i viewed life since, taught me many things. One of those highlighted by tonight’s events particularly are:

You can always start over. Step by Step is how you must do it. Stop taking or attempting to take a 3-points shot, when you are free on the 2-points attempts to score.

Measure your little achievements, the tiniest ones even. I had a long, enduring phsyio-therapy period, legs, hands, nerves, you name it. All these, taught me to measure every day: i was a slave to measuring progress and first 6 weeks i hated it, hated to see i am barely doing better even though i was trying my best.

I use to measure if i walked 3 steps further today on the street,with my crutches and my friend by my side, or 4 steps – which would be an improvement from my 3 steps a week ago or 2 weeks ago, yup.

I learned to have a little pink notebook then, one where i needed to record my progress in my physio- exercises to report back the next day at the hospital.  I mentioned it casually in previous posts, but also to 1 friend…who adopted it surprisingly without me asking her to, and admitting it changed how she looked at things so much.

That notebook…

The What-Made-You-Smile-Today Notebook i call it today, when i am well, healthy, blessed, down at times yes like you, but well. I kind of allowed my blog to replace it a little, as i vowed to put myself out here and share my lessons in life:)

FullSizeRender (50)It taught me discipline. gratefulness. to see my blessings. to feel that a day no matter how bad, mad, angry, lonely, stressful, a failure, or a disaster, is made better by a small progress, a shy smile, a timid feeling or hello, or a kind word from  you to others or from someone on the street to you, on your way to uni, work, or your placement.



Now, tonight, I initially popped in here to tell you about one thing that made my day, my note into our common pink notebook 🙂 as it may just answer one of the puzzles in your head about life or the people in it who are or were around you at one point.

My afternoon actually was one lesson i am compelled to share, one that showed me,

Investing in people rarely goes anywhere but back to You:)

No matter how helpless, weak, ignorant, educated, or how hopeless you think they are in your attempts to get to their stubborn or non nonchalant heads as we’d put it sometimes in life..

They are listening and you caring will rarely be forgotten.

Obviously, i cannot generalize. I haven’t the right to because you have your experiences as well, but this is our no-judgement space; besides, you here will help me tell my incident today, one i did not think is worthy to mention to anyone until i surfed my blog, and your blogs, and then thought, Well, why not? Why not tell You, my precious readers and friends about it and rest for the night:)


I drove to Beirut today, particularly drove at 5pm to give my Entrepreneurship class at 5.30pm at the university. I was in a rush to get there on time and kind of excited to share a few new things with my students (as i admit i am/feel every class since last year to be honest:$).

I have a motto by the way, one i tell my students regardless of their age, section, or major:

“In every one class we take together,i promise that each of you will learn at least 1 new thing, and that is all i want you to take home.”

[were it a company, a company name, process, scandal, story, inspiring innovation, a concept, product, business theme, a movie name/trailer (will share that btw this week in my class Thursday), a tip on a global issue, local/global news, minor detail about a brand you use or a manager you look up to..]

I made it 10 minutes earlier to uni, signed off my hours, and as i pick up my books and head to class, i was intercepted by one of my very first students.

Now, i don’t want this to sound generic or cheesy because well, i have humbly only been instructing Undergraduates two years now; so it’s not like i ran into a student 30 or so years later. Yet, his words and his act managed to make their way at 1am tonight, as i smiled at myself saying,

You have done well Joy; even if you do not feel up to it right now, right this week, you have been there when needed and achieved something through that person.”

Taha was one of my very first students, my first batch of students ever.

I taught him Personal Development Planning- wonders that class revealed in terms of depth of thinking, self awareness, and self development by its very end. I also taught him Marketing, and that module was equally super!

He started out so shy, with a low confidence, a difficulty adapting to Lebanon, the curriculum, as his family was forced to re-settle in Lebanon from Iraq, where his dad still resides, attempting to protect and simultaneously run his family business, to keep a legacy for his graduates-to-be, his two beloved sons.

I thought I ran into him by mere luck tonight, being at the right place at the right time.

But boy was i mistaken. Taha bluntly declared,

We keep asking about you [we as in himself and his classmates – my first cohort]. I was finally told you are only on campus twice a week at this time, and so I stayed today to be able to see you and talk because I’d love to if you have the time.”

I would run late to my class if i sat with him as he presented those words; i knew that, yet i stopped in my tracks and i am pretty sure my face lit up as we chatted.

I was touched, in ways i cannot explain, on the spot and later as i went to bed and ideas in my mind began their routine race, as always, right before we go to bed, you too i guess huh? :O hehe o well.

You know how they say one can never understand what a parent feels or thinks about their child except when you become a parent yourself? To me, the theory applies on teaching done right i.e. teaching , about life and books rather than just about books.

And teaching about life, always leaves a mark.

Perhaps because it is so underestimated? or book teachings are overrated?

Taha, the shy, restricted-words person, the one who was most passive and expressed the least of what is on his mind was standing right in front of me, inviting me to chat and sharing his concerns on his studies and his future, asking for my counselling and judgement.

To be honest, his cohort last year started out a little disengaged..then together we progressed, it was a minute progress, but a steady one:). We made it through Year 1 and then I taught 3rd years this year so had to miss their cohort; yet here we are, standing in the university garden chatting about life and books.

It honestly meant the world to see how the time and effort, effort, effort i invested and the patience that accompanied my year 1 in instructing had hand-crafted me such a cherished place in my student’s heart, head, and life.

I think it was the first time i fell Proud of something i did for Others, not directly or indirectly for myself.

IMG_5673 (1)

Two years earlier, on Dec.17, 2015Taha’s Brother, also my student then, had shared the photo in an appreciation email to me..

As cheesy it may seem, the accompanied words were absolutely encouraging, supportive, grateful that I taught them things the way that i did.

I shared it with a close friend of mine, who then told me:

I thought my friend was overreacting, but today particularly … i don’t, i rather approve and i like that i do!

Yes, investing in people may prove to be tough, time consuming, nerve-wrecking, disappointing, unsatisfying at times even; however, if you can live with yourself by not giving in to others and even caving in to people you genuinely feel you have a chance to share your life with: be it for a career, or a partner, a hobby, or a passion, then please feel free to refrain from investing, but please let us remember:

If you never try, how will you know it was the wrong investment?

No one can do it alone, can we? WE need to let others in, be sharp and observant alright no problem, build the relationship the way you feel comfortable first, but we need to let others in my people🙂



Apr.5, 2017 at 1am







4 thoughts on “The “What Made You Smile Today” Notebook

  1. I’m so loving and adopting this principle. Great words ma’am 😃. Not only will it help you to be grateful, it will also help to look forward to a lot of reasons to smile. My what made me smile today: amongst several things, it’s the fact that it finally dawned on me that I’m making an impact in my own little way.
    Your comment on my blog sure did a whole lot in putting a smile on my face..Thanks so much

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I never thought about it the way u did , “it will help to look forward to a lot of reasons to smile.” ! You’re a natural influence my friend and a natural optimistic little one:)
      Flattered is what i am. you even made me blush with ur comments and likes.. Thank You actually.
      PS: please, do keep me posted on how the new habit goes for you? in time, no rush , i dont plan on leaving here anytime soon, or anytime for that matter.
      With all my love,


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