Book Review: Aliya by Emine Suleyman

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If you’re happy to work every hour that God sends, then good for you. If not, then this book could be your answer to prayer.

Emine Suleyman, the entrepreneur and life coach, has set herself an admirable goal: To help Britons create a healthier work-life balance. She believes (as I do) that we’ve become a nation obsessed with being busy and have forgotten what it means to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. The solution, she argues, is organisation. And plenty of it.

Thus, her new book, Aliya, isn’t really a book at all. Rather, it’s a formidable mix of traditional diary, journal, planner, goal-setter, habit tracker, sketch book, ideas logbook and motivational tool all rolled into one. It’s the ultimate success manual for what I call ‘Generation Triple M’ – modern motivated millennials.

Which makes reading it somewhat problematic. So instead, I reviewed it the only way possible – by using it.

This practical day-to-day productivity diary promotes efficiency from the outset; (“Let there be lists”, commands Suleyman at the beginning). Thanks to its hard cover-only format, doing so is actually quite easy, even on the bumpiest commute. It also forces the reader (or should that be “user”?) to identify his or her own ‘mission’.

Suleyman’s introduction defines a mission statement as, “…putting your purpose of being and your values into words. To do this requires careful consideration of our individual existence. It poses an important question; what does it mean to be successful in my life on my terms?”

Whether you’re planning the school run or a multinational takeover bid, the book lives up to it promise – it helps. Motivational phrases (“A goal without a plan is just a dream” et al) offer extra support on those especially tricky days.

It also includes a 2018 diary, as you might imagine. But unlike traditional diaries, Aliya has additional, dedicated sections in which to plot mission statements. There’s even areas to define life purposes. Perhaps more importantly, at least for the high-fliers, there’s designated spaces to set and monitor goals, and to log progress (or lack of).

Suleyman is no stranger to the chaos of entrepreneurism and the need for organisation. And she knows a thing or two about turning dreams into reality. She founded an international sales and promotions business in her 20s, with nearly 400 contractors. Suleyman, 31, is now a professional mentor, coach, public speaker and author. Her 2015 book Goal Setting Journal: Your Past, Present and Future was well received among a savvy set of young go-getters.

It’s too early to tell if Aliya has transformed my life. But it has encouraged me to enjoy life’s simple pleasures…like completing today’s diary entry.

Aliya by Emine Suleyman is out now in hardback and available at www.planmyvision.co.uk, priced £25.

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