Aly Mazhar

Aly Mazhar

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In Pursuit of Passion

What are some qualities a mentor can provide someone else?

A mentor can provide people with motivation, inspiration, and guidance. These are the major things I can think of.

And what inspires you the most?

Helping people achieve what they want. Helping them live their lives in a better state. Having them overcome their own weaknesses. Having them face their challenges with some sort of guidance, so that they know that they can push through. Telling them that everything is going to be ok when it’s not. Giving them the confidence, killing their insecurities.

What is one of the greatest pieces of advice you have ever received as a mentor?

The best advice I have received is - chasing success and focusing on the core of what you do, will bring you everything else. Focusing on money, focusing on fame, focusing on anything away from success, takes away from the core and value of your work. And doesn’t get you the same result. So the same every day with consistency, doing the same things everyday with compassion, will get you there. Because others will not do that.

How can you identify a mentor? How do you know when someone is a mentor?

I can identify a mentor by seeing what he has done in his life for himself, but also for other people around him. He can be a very successful person. But all that success can be very personal. Being a mentor is taking it out there, and looking at the bigger picture and realizing that they’re helping people out there; it doesn’t have to be all about me.

The world is pretty obsessed with body image and the way you look - but you have a more holistic approach towards what being fit is. Can you broadly talk about your approach to well-being…

My personal approach to wellbeing has changed dramatically after 4 years of work in this field. So when people come in with a major target of transforming their body and all that, I kind of look beneath the surface …I kind of look for what they are here for. They don’t like their body because it makes them feel insecure. That’s basically the reason. It’s one of the biggest reasons for insecurities ever. It’s your body shape.

By making them transform their goal into more of a wellness goal, more of well-being. Into the mum being able to lift her child and run with her. More of the 40-50 year old business man being able to move well, to focus on his work, to run his meetings more efficiently. To see the impact of his fitness throughout the 24 hours of his day, not just the one hour at the gym …is really what’s going to get him into the habit of continuing. And then transforming his body shape will just come. But it’s just going to come in the peripheral vision. It’s not the core. It’s not the main reason.

So I think once you transform the mindset into having it as a lifestyle, not a short term goal pressuring you to lose 10kgs then get out of the gym. It’s in your DNA. Because you’ve seen the effect of it on your everyday life. Not just your body shape. You can go on steroids and lose all your body fat in one month. But how’s that going to affect your life. That’s the true transformation.

What is focusing to you? What does it mean to focus?

Focus on getting the job done, in the most efficient possible way. Focus on getting the best results out of the tools that you have. Focus on capitalizing on your strengths. Because that’s what’s going to get you to where you want to be. 

Can you describe what fitness does for you beyond the physical…for you, not just for people, but for you...

For me fitness is a constantly varied journey, there’s a lot of elements in fitness. There’s gymnastics - using your own body weight to do stuff, there’s weightlifting - moving objects. There’s cardio-vascular - swimming, running, ski-ing, rowing, riding your bicycle. It’ s a huge broad spectrum . And if you really, really, really get into it, you always wanna get better, you always wanna improve your numbers. The competitive person within you comes out and that’s where your constant motivation comes in. So you wanna improve your strength numbers but you still wanna run faster but you still don’t want to be bad when you swim in the pool. And once that goal transforms into something you can measure…and you have a measurable goal - the whole game changes.

Because, basically I’m an amateur - I’m not a pro I don’t get paid to train. I get paid to coach. However, when your athletes see you and they see you. When they walk into the gym and they see you right before your session, and they see you beating yourself up into the grounding… and they think, ‘Wow, this guy is already in good shape… he’s figure’s great, I want to look like him, but he’s still killing himself training every day. Why’s he doing that?’.

It gives them more reason to do that. And when you demand something from them. You cannot demand something that you personally cannot do. It just defeats the purpose. I can’t be walking around the gym drinking a soda, eating a burger and asking him to stay on a healthy diet because it improves his life. It’ just that practicing what you preach is really one of the strongest tools.

I’m not saying that if you’re not a well rounded athlete you cannot be a couch, I’m not saying that…I’m just saying it’s far more powerful from an inspirational perspective.

You mentioned before that you’re laid back but you’re also a little bit shy. How does someone get to know you?

I think I’m socially shy, in terms of big gatherings but this…it got much worse after my job. I was never shy when I was playing soccer, I didn’t care. Now, when I walk into a place and recognize in people’s eyes that they know who I am. It is just… I get pretty conscious about it. So even the time I spend with my friends, they are probably the same people every time. My inner circle, I am very comfortable with, it’s just that the whole exposure thing is new to me.

When you’re reading at home and learning about something, it’s a different spectrum of the gym…. What is that balance like between having the quiet time at home. What do you find in the quiet moments?

The quiet moments, even though my life is crazy 24/7, the quiet hour of my day or the three or four days I get to travel to learn something or study a course or anything like that. Especially, being on a plane because you’re disconnected.

It’s my biggest reflection moment on my past, and it’s my biggest inspiration for the future. It gives me time to look at what I’ve done. It gives me time to see where I want to go. And it gives me a moment of really reassessing everything that I have done - what could have done better…what did I do wrong? How did I not help these people achieve what they want?

How can I have a wider effect on the community? And how can I make myself a better person. I think you can’t discover that when you are working throughout your day. You need a complete state of disconnection. It’s in the quiet moments that I find inspiration.