Inspirational Ateeq Hussain is a businessman who changed his mindset and changed his life. A former taxi driver, he now runs two successful ice cream parlours in Huddersfield. Here’s his latest Monthly Monday Motivation.

It’s no secret that people are naturally averse to criticism and – in the main – we like to be liked.

We tend to prefer agreement over causing a fuss. Even when it’s fully justified we err towards the side of passive aggressive non-confrontation.

In other words we are concerned with what others think of us. It’s human nature; but I found this was not productive for me as it held me back from pursuing my vision.

It took a full two years to actively confront and rectify my behaviour. And I’m glad to say it’s made all the difference; not just to me but to countless individuals past and present.

Do you know how it feels to just get on with it – without the nagging sense of fear and guilt about what strangers, friends, family and society in general think about you?

In my experience, and to my subsequent pleasant surprise, it was this question that sparked a trail of activity and experimentation that completely transformed my mind.

For instance, it’s this approach that has allowed me to create a YouTube channel teaching Arabic online. I saw a need and got on with it.

Minding my own business has allowed me to forge the lifestyle I want by getting on with running a business and pursuing many other rich and diverse areas of study to help mould a better, stronger and smarter version of me.

I’ve given myself permission to read all the books I can and to model a unique philosophy for my life based not on what others do and say but rather on what I’ve learnt.

I do what I feel is important without waiting for permission or authorisation. I give myself permission to go headlong into the pursuit, trade, learning and labour I find meaningful.

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When I stopped being overly concerned for other people’s views I began to see clearly and create with confidence. And you can do the same. Give yourself permission to share your gifts, talents and creativity with the world.

Our brains are wired to be predisposed towards the apparently bad. Despite all the good we can see and witness all around us the masses are depressingly negative about almost anything at any time of the day, regardless if they are having a great day the conversation inevitably swings towards the lack, rather than the abundance. And this negativity will wash over your mind if you do not guard against it.

There are, of course, exceptional people around you that if you are fortunate to consult with should be appreciated and highly valued.

For example, I found individuals that had done or were doing what I aspired to and just got around them. I listened to them talk, watched them work and studied their history.

Success leaves clues so it’s important to pay attention. People who can advise, support and encourage are all around us if we just take the time to be mindful.

Doors were slammed in my face and the fear of rejection was eventually overcome but it was so worth it.

Elbert Hubbard, the renowned American artist, philosopher and publisher famously said: “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

Conversely, to do something, say something and be something; stop caring what others think. It’s none of your darn business.

You’ve got better things to concern yourself with. And if you haven’t got better things on your mind then maybe it’s time you began re-assessing your priorities.

Furthermore, did you know that when catastrophe strikes you, most people couldn’t care less and some are even glad it’s happened to you.

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So why should you concern yourself with unwarranted criticism from these very same segments of society?

History memorialises the great thinkers, creators and tinkerers who continued towards great endeavours despite the criticism from the masses.

These are the very same individuals who we could be aspiring to be like. What a worthwhile and admirable ambition!

Let us not overlook the huge sacrifices borne by those souls that came before us by wasting away our precious freedom, time and talents in the pursuit of vain desires and the path of least resistance due to some misplaced loyalty to an invisible and uncaring collective. Do you really have that much time?

I’ll finish with a quote that has (in this disinformation age) allegedly been misattributed to the great physicist, Albert Einstein: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

This is one of my favourite statements of all time. To me it means this; their judgement about you is none of your damn business – be like the fish and keep swimming along minding your own business; and that everyone has massive potential if they could just take a minute to recognise what they are and what they want to become.

In this seemingly complicated world it seems the hardest thing is to just stop and contemplate.

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You are a genius in your own right, but you don’t see yourself that way because no-one has told you. Well, I’m telling you now!

You’re reading this because you are destined to do amazing things. Trust me, the hardest part is convincing yourself that you can.

Define your vision, set your goals, refine your mind, learn the skills and leave the naysayers hanging in the dust. It begins now, just mind your own business and I guarantee you’ll marvel at the results.

Wishing you strength of mind, body and purpose. You can do it.