life-stories-series-Busra-hissah-Abu Dhabi

Tell me a bit about yourself. What do you want the world to know about YOU?

My name is Büşra Göknil. Originally from Turkey, I have spent 27 of the 33 years of my life in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which I consider as a great fortune. I have completed my BSc in Psychology from Effat University in Jeddah and furthered my studies by completing my MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Northcentral University in Arizona-USA. I would consider myself bicultural. Growing up in Jeddah, which can be viewed as the meeting point of diverse cultures, I feel it is appropriate to say it has been the touch of many different cultures that has shaped who I am today. I love to read, research, explore, travel and grasp new knowledge from wherever I can. The deeper I dig into it, the more I am fascinated about how much more there is to actually learn about.

Describe a typical day in your life.

I generally leave the house around 8am on the weekdays to head to work. Having the advantage of living close to the university I work at, I am able to reach there by the beginning of the working hour of 8:30 am. Depending on how tired I am and how quickly I am able to get ready on time (!), I either have breakfast before I leave the house, or pack something to have at the office. Leaving work at 5 pm, I have dinner once I reach home. Although the rest of the day usually varies, whether I have some researching to do or need to catch up on some house chores, I always have an allocated time for exercise and self-reflection before heading to bed. This helps me to start the next day with much more positivity.

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced during your journey to where you are today?

One of my biggest challenges would be overcoming the concept of worrying. We all tend to worry from time to time about matters that we care about. It is often hard not to; sometimes almost impossible. Nonetheless, worrying never gets us anywhere. When the matters that we worry about are in the future, we are ruining that very moment of our existence, occupying our minds with thoughts that we would never be sure of how are going to unfold. This has been my case whether the topic was studies, work, moving from one country to another or any other aspect where an important life decision needed to be made; I would end up thinking for days drowning into thoughts about what’s going to happen and how these changes were going to affect me. Change is usually uncomfortable just because you don’t know what’s around the corner; and this triggers the negative thoughts of how things could be worse. Sometimes our minds can really exaggerate it, hence the overwhelming worrying! Once I was able to take steps to diminish this thought process as much as possible, I became happier with my life and where I stand today.

Who would you describe as a role model and why?

I don’t have ‘one’ role model. Our Prophet would always top the list, the best example of a person, followed by my parents who I always look up to, whom I have learned and still continue to learn so much from. My teachers who have taught me and left a mark with their amazing and unique characters, manners, education and ethics will always carry elements which I take as a model.

Tell us one thing about you that most people don’t know.

Most people probably don’t know that I can be very emotional. If I give my heart, even cartoons can touch me and I would shed a few tears!

What is one piece of advice about how to cope with challenges/struggles you face in life that you would like to give to the world?

It is always great to have a plan; it gives you an idea, a point to start, a path to get there and reminds you of your target. However, keep in mind that not everything goes as planned, and since we are not able to control all the variables in our life, the best way is to actually let go. Plan and trust Allah. His plan is way better than anything we could ever plan. Everything always turns out better than we could have ever imagined. If we are not able to gain what we want, we are awarded with something much much better. Although it might seem hard to let go of what we ‘want’, when we trust Allah, we will see that the craving for that ‘want’ will soon be detached from our hearts, and be replaced with the pleasure and sweetness of what we have gained or will gain. With this trust, we will soon see the challenges crumble, we will be the stronger one against them, as we know that the One and Only would never burden us with something that we cannot carry. This thought in itself gives so much power!

What is ONE word that you feel defines you? (It could be your profession, a personality trait, or a quality you possess).

Emotional! Yes, I’ve said it again, but think of it from a different point. Throughout the years, I had thought of this as a negative or weak trait, however I came to realize it was quite the opposite. When I’m sad, nervous or angry, it actually acts as a lifesaver. Facing and expressing my emotions, shedding a few tears or crying if I feel the need to always helped me to distress, think about the situation and learn from the experience. It has always been a positive building block to my personality.