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 Monthly Monday Motivation.

I always thought, like most people, that desperation is an ugly emotion, that no good would ever come from it. In fact, the opposite is true. Let me explain.

Desperation and inspiration, I have come to appreciate, are two sides of the same coin and are vital ingredients for life change or to get a better direction going. Necessity was indeed the mother of invention when it came to my quite desperation of a life.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, said: “When things are desperate, there is no need to pretend that everything is beautiful.”

Desperation, at its most basic level, is a realisation that all is not well, in other words it is simply fear. Fear that there is something seriously wrong and that it’s out of my control.

Now, in the face of such desperation, I can choose what to do about it. (There’s a radical idea, I can actually decide how to respond).

I could fight external forces and there’s plenty of them to blame, bad circumstances, poor weather, annoying kids, dead end job, heartless boss, picky customers, jealous relatives, rude neighbours, stagnant economy, greedy government or even the cat or any other furry animal, take your pick. (This is by no means an exhaustive list.)

I’m reminded of the following American newspaper headline, STATE POPULATION TO DOUBLE BY 2040; BABIES TO BLAME. Cute.

Another option is to just stick my head in the sand and hope everything is better again when I am forced by necessity to reluctantly raise it up again. I tried this many, many times but found that the negative feeling just gets bigger.

Neither blaming or ignorance – in my relatively limited experience – improves my personal circumstances and possibly/probably (delete as appropriate) makes them slightly worse because now I’m in denial as well as in fear. Doh!

As a side note, the six basic fears are:

1) Fear of poverty – probably the number one reason you feel desperate;

2) Fear of criticism – this is why it’s so hard to do something new or out of the ordinary;

3) Fear of ill health – this is a fear used by the pharmaceutical industry around the world to push various nefarious agendas and dangerous chemicals;

4) Fear of loss of love of someone – emotional blackmail (enough said);

5) Fear of old age – I personally look forward to getting older, wiser and richer!

6) Fear of death – Gulp!

I discovered a better way, through natural trial and error learning, where I treat my mistakes as teachers and take time to analyse and dissect the errors and not running away from them.

By the way, this analysis gets easier as I gain a broader perspective in how the world, people and things in general work.

This novel approach was like switching the light on in a darkened room instead of fumbling around and banging into stuff needlessly.

I threw my blame list away and began to focus my desperation on the ‘man in the mirror’ (search Michael Jackson song by the same title, I just introduced it to the kids) which led to inspiration, motivation and an abundance of life that can be experienced by everyone.

I’m not saying everything is wonderful but now I can choose how to react or feel about things.

Desperation manifested wonders for my life that, a few years back, I never would have thought possible.

The key for me was to recognise that only I can make the changes to direct this powerful (and potentially paralysing) force called desperation into meaningful and fruitful work. You can do the same. And it all starts in your mind.

The other thing that I found to be immensely useful is that I don’t have to change the world. Phew! What a relief. All I have to do is make myself a little better every day.

Maybe start by making the bed, eating a little less, taking a walk, hugging the kids more, reading everyday – or whatever needs doing that I know deep down is worthwhile.

All of these activities I have control over so it’s simple for me to get on with it. Desperation turns to inspiration, voila!

Inspiration is contagious, like smiling, and the possibilities are endless. You just don’t know whose life is going to be impacted in a profound and vital way and what the knock-on effects of that will be to the rest of the world. Oh, so you can change the world, bonus points.

I’ll end with a quote from someone very special to me, although I never met him in person, he’s had a profound impact on my thinking.

Jim Rohn said: “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” I found this to be true.

Decide now for yourself to have a face-off with whatever desperate thoughts are holding you back. Turn fear to excitement, sorrow to joy, lack to abundance, confusion to clarity, paralysis to positive action. No one is coming to do it for you. It’s all on you.

Wishing you abundance, joy and success.