H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, attended the third of this year’s Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed Ramadan lectures, titled ‘Journey to Self: Rising to Challenges and Choosing Happiness'.

The lecture, which took place in the Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed venue at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, was presented by Dr. Khalid Almunif, a Saudi author and trainer specialising in psychology and self-development.

Over the course of the lecture, Dr Almunif explored strategies for personal growth and highlighted behaviours that can have a negative impact on mental wellbeing. Sharing personal experiences and insights that have shaped the journey of his own life, the self-development trainer investigated ways in which people can learn to overcome challenges and lead a happier life.

The noted author and trainer explored the foundations of happiness, explaining the importance of appreciating things such as a tranquil day that passes peacefully, but also noting that it is necessary to experience challenges so we learn to value the good things in life.

The speaker suggested that to achieve peace in our lives we should not feel responsible for controlling or changing other people, and we should also be wary of trying to link our happiness to any particular event or person. While promoting the importance of being optimistic, he warned against pursuing perfection, which he described as an illusion. It is better, he said, to strive for growth while accepting that we are human and everyone makes mistakes.

Dr. Almunif praised the UAE as a role model for having prioritised the development of its human capital since the time of the late Sheikh Zayed, stating, “Today, reliance is on human capital, on human intellect, and this is what we see in this young nation.” He also lauded the country for focusing on the wellbeing of its people, claiming the UAE had ‘led the way’ through its appointment of a Minister for Happiness.

The lecture was moderated by Sarah Albakeri, Vice-President, Human Resources at Tabreed and a certified life coach, and featured pre-recorded contributions from Jamal Al Shehei, an author and publisher; life coach Maryam Alhashmi; and clinical psychologist Dr Saliha Afridi.

‘Journey to Self: Rising to Challenges and Choosing Happiness’ will be broadcast on Saturday, 30th March at 17:00 on local TV networks and will be available to watch afterwards on the Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed YouTube channel (youtube.com/@MajlisMohamedbinZayed).