For more than 20 years now, personal-growth expert Karim Hajee has used and continues to use the powers of his Creating Power system to achieve his goals and live the life he wants. He learned how to tap into his subconscious mind and developed this system from his mother when he was a teenager living in Kenya, East Africa. He’s used this system to help over 100,000 people change their lives in ways they never thought possible.
Hajee is an award-winning television reporter in Canada and the United States. Over the years he has had a varied background as a correspondent, anchor, network producer and writer. Today, he continues to examine and study different self-help programs and books on the subject of the subconscious mind. Believing that so much of what’s holding us back as entrepreneurs is all in our heads, he continues to work on developing new materials to help people create wealth through an entrepreneur’s mindset.
KARIM HAJEE: Thank you, Chris. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m always excited to speak with you and, at least, convey some information to the listeners. Hopefully, we can help them make one minor change that will yield significant results. Our goal is to try to do that and a lot more. It’s always a pleasure to be here and speak with you, Chris.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Thank you, Karim. I have no doubts. I’m looking forward to having you share some of the incredible things that some of your students have learned. Before we get into that, I think you know, Karim, that the title of this series is the Passions of Real Life Legends. Will you share with us how your passions, the things that matter most to you in life, have led you to Creating Power?
KARIM HAJEE: It’s a strange journey. It only happened because I kept an open mind and said, “Let’s see where life takes me now. Let’s see where my spirit, my higher power, wants to guide me.” I was a very successful reporter in my previous life, as I like to refer to it. Even that was accomplished by applying the techniques that I outline in my Creating Power system.
Along the way I discovered something that I wasn’t prepared for. My goal was to be a journalist and live that life for as long as possible. I wanted to be at the top of my game and stay there until my early years of retirement, if not late years of retirement, and be kicked out of the newsroom at the end of the day. That’s kind of the way it was. One day just after 9/11 happened, everybody was called in to work double shifts.
I was thrown back into the investigative unit. Terrorism was my specialty. That’s what I’d covered for a long time. I’d dealt with terrorists and law enforcement in covering them and trying to locate them. I’d done a lot of crazy things in that lifetime. I was working a weekend shift. I hate working weekends, but I had to suck it in and do my part like everybody else was, because we all had to be team players, get this job done, and get the best information out there as quickly as possible.
I was working with an editor, who was a very senior editor. I said, “Why are you here today?” He said, “I was called in like everybody else.” I said, “Yes, but you have seniority. You can say no if you don’t want to.” He said, “I couldn’t say no.” I said, “You don’t seem too happy about it.” He said, “It’s my son’s first baseball game, he’s the starting pitcher, and I missed the game.”
Right there I sank in my seat and said, “I wish I could tell him to go home, but I can’t. I don’t have that authority.” At that time, because 9/11 had just happened, a lot of streets were closed in New York City. Getting a cab was pretty well impossible. There wasn’t a lot of traffic in our area because people weren’t driving. The city was basically shut down. It was a long walk home.
It was late in the evening, and I was walking home. I said, “I don’t want that to happen to me. I don’t want to miss my son’s first baseball game. I don’t want to miss my daughter’s first dance recital. I don’t want to miss these things. That’s what my life is all about!” Once I had my family, I didn’t want to miss these things. I was teaching the Creating Power system and working with it.
I wasn’t really enthralled in it all the time, but I really enjoyed every moment I had a chance to work with a client. At that time, we were just transitioning from working one-to-one to providing the course on CDs and, at that time, cassettes. It was starting to increase then. I had another business going on, as well, that I had started up in Canada a long time ago. It was running, but I had friends and a mom running it as well.
I thought, “Let me get through this project, and then I need to focus on what’s important for me. I need to figure out what that is.” During the next two years I ramped up my business with Creating Power, and I focused on the business that was up in Canada as well. We expanded that a little bit, and I realized along the way that I’m not going to be that old guy in the newsroom anymore.
It’s just not going to happen because I don’t want to miss out on life. I get to see life unfolding all the time. I get to see the greatest events happen, but they’re not my events. They’re not my personal events. They’re everybody else’s events. They’re great elections. They’re great events that will go down in history and people will remember forever, but they’re not mine. They belong to somebody else. I’m just reporting them.
I wanted to enjoy my moments. I wanted to enjoy my life. It may sound selfish, but it really isn’t because I really wanted to spend time with the people who were the most important to me. I came back to Toronto, and I spent a couple of months here with my mother. We had lost my father a few years before that. Things weren’t settled, so I helped her get settled and figure out where we wanted to go.
While I was here, I realized there was more to life. My passion was no longer being a journalist. My passion was really to share the wisdom that I gained from my mother and my grandmother. My passion was to spend time with my family. My passion was to see the world through my own eyes and not through a reporter’s eyes. My passion was to grow and learn as much as possible.
While I was doing some of that as a journalist, it just wasn’t the kind of growth and education that I really wanted to experience anymore. It was a gut-wrenching decision, and I never have looked back. I’ve enjoyed every moment since. Every day that I’ve taught Creating Power, I’ve awakened with a smile on my face for the past 20 years. It only became a fulltime passion more recently.
When I did it on a part-time basis working with people on the weekends, evenings or my days off, I enjoyed every single moment. That’s when I realized we need to move in a different direction, because there are other things that are important to me. I need to create a lifestyle that I want to enjoy.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: It’s such a great story, Karim. I think you may know that one of the key principles we teach for people in terms of discovering and living their passions is this idea that whenever you’re faced with a choice, a decision or an opportunity, choose in favor of your passions. Sometimes that takes a lot of courage. That’s what I hear you were doing.
You had to have the courage to say, “I want to be there for my kids. I want to spend time with my family, not running off around the world.” There are a lot of people who would say you had a great job. You had an incredible career and a great opportunity to advance. It took a lot of courage. I know from having worked with you and spent time with you that today your personal development programs and online programs are among the most popular out there. It seems like it was a pretty good decision.
KARIM HAJEE: Yes. What you said is so true. When it comes to that crossroad, choose your passion. Sometimes people don’t because they’re afraid that the passion isn’t going to lead to the success that they want or desire. They can’t see it. Unfortunately, Chris, we can’t stand at the top of the mountain of life and scan the roads and see which direction we’re going to go in.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: That’s true, isn’t it?
KARIM HAJEE: It doesn’t happen. We have to trust our higher selves. When this crossroad came I said, “I’m here for a reason. This crossroad is happening for a reason. I can bet it isn’t to continue being a journalist.” I was heading that direction where I was going to be in gold handcuffs in a year or two, and I was going to be making too much money to be able to walk away from the job.
It was a decision that I had to make. It was a financial setback in the beginning, but I thought, “I’ve been through worse. I can get through this. We’ll find a way to make it work. What could be more fun than having fun?” Who cares? As long as you’re making enough to pay the bills and you’re having fun, that’s the important thing. The rest starts to escalate.
The universe has a way of showing up and saying, “You’re having so much fun. You’re putting smiles on people’s faces. You’re out there sharing your wisdom. You’re sharing your knowledge. You’re sharing your time. People enjoy what you’re doing. I’m going to give you a big hand, or I’m going to give you a small hand. I’m going to point you in the right direction.”
When you’re open to that possibility that anything can happen, then truly wonderful things start to happen. You have no idea how it’s going to happen. I can tell you stories of a friend of a friend of a friend whose mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister, or cousin called me up and said something wonderful to me. I have no idea how this person surfaced in my life until years later and I tracked back.
When you make those decisions it’s like a bad relationship ending. You don’t realize how bad it is until years later. You say, “Gee, thank goodness I got out of that one!” You look at your life and say, “It’s so much better!” You have to trust that it’s going to get so much better. You’re going to do everything that you can to make it better because you’re enjoying life. You’re following a passion.
It’s a natural law of the universe that when you’re on your game, having fun, making people smile, allowing people to enjoy themselves and you’re making an impact, good things are going to happen. It naturally will follow.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: You’re a living example of that. I want to go back to a long time ago. I know that you learned the secret that you put together in the Creating Power system from your mother. As we said in the intro, she learned it from her mother. Will you talk to us about how that all came to be and how you realized that this was something that could benefit many people?
KARIM HAJEE: At first I had no idea what I was doing. My mother and my grandmother were pretty powerful forces in our family in many ways. When I was living in Nairobi, I was probably six or seven years old. My grandmother’s house was in walking distance, so my brother and I would walk over and I’d spend time with her. My grandfather didn’t speak English very well, but my grandmother did.
My mother did, as well. My mom would teach me some of these things, simple things like if you want to do well in something, believe that you can do well. Believe in yourself. Start thinking that you can. Don’t listen to what other people say. Just go out there and do it. Think that you can do it. It was like there was no fear instilled in me. It was deflated right away.
When I’d go over to my grandmother’s house, she’d talk to me about it and say the same thing, sometimes in an Indian dialect and sometimes in English. I’d ask her questions. I’d say, “So-and-so says that I can’t do this.” She’d say, “You can.” It was very childlike and very innocent. I’d go off to school and think that I could anything that I wanted to do. There were some very vivid moments where I applied these techniques and I was stunned with the results.
I’ll give you an example. There was a competition they had in school. I must have been in either grade two or three at the same time. My brother was at the same school. My brother is four years older than me. They had a competition with a gadget. Let me try to describe it. There were two poles with a wire in between. The wire had an electric current running through it.
The wire was not straight. It was up and down and bent all round. You had to take a cylinder-like thing that was attached to something like a hollow tennis racket. It was a miniature version of that. You had to slide it across, up and down, without touching the wire. That was the competition. Anyone who succeeded would get a little trophy and a ribbon. Basically, all the big kids were there.
My brother was a big kid. I figured I would go over and take a look. None of the big kids could do it. They were all saying it was difficult. I remembered what my grandmother and my mother said: “If you believe you can do it, you can do it.” I said, “Let me try.” They said, “No, you’re too small.” I said, “None of you have done it. Let me try it.” I gave it a shot.
My brother said, “This is going to be embarrassing.” I did it the first time. It went right through. Honestly, Chris, ever since that day I can recall vivid moments when I was told it was going to be difficult, I was in a jam, or this isn’t going to work out. I would just find a way to focus on the outcome I wanted, believed that I could achieve it, and said, “Let’s find a way to do this and get it done.”
Whether it was winning at sports, excelling at school, getting my first job as a journalist, or launching a business, all these things came into play. That’s just a small sample of the kinds of things I was fortunate to learn and that were instilled in me when I was very young. As I grew up, there was a thought process that was involved in this. It continued to expand.
When you get into teenage years, girls start to play a role, you have pimples on your face, and kids are making fun of you at school. We had some racial tensions here when we moved to Canada. My mother, again, went back to basics. My grandmother, unfortunately, had passed away a year after we came to Canada. My mother said, “I am going to keep teaching you the things she taught me, because I know they will help you.”
She caught on that I was picking this stuff up quickly. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I realized I had it pretty good as a teenager. I didn’t have that rough of a time. I asked, “How did that happen?” I talked to my mom. She said, “Here are some of the things that you did.” I thought about some of the things that I did. I said, “That’s the way I focused on things.” It was the way I looked at things.
It was the belief system that I created. I thought, “If there is a good-looking girl at school there’s no reason why I can’t talk to her. I’ll just go up and talk to her. What’s the worse that can happen? If I need to do well in school, I’ll just focus on that.” It escalated again. Of all things, Karim wanted to be a journalist! Talk about a competitive field. No one in my family had been a journalist. They didn’t understand what this was about.
On top of it, I wanted to be a broadcaster. How was that going to happen? They wondered, “Is he going to make any money? Am I going to carry this child for the rest of his life? What’s going to go on here?” I applied myself again and good things started to happen. I started getting work right away. I ended up building a radio station with a couple of friends at our university. It was unheard of! We did that. I thought, “That’s pretty cool.”
In my early to mid-30s, I looked back and said, “How did all this happen? How did I end up being in New York winning all these awards as an investigative reporter? How can we start directing this and applying this?” I had already done it without realizing it, because we had set up a small consulting company, and this was the basis of Creating Power, which was started five years earlier, but it wasn’t refined or directed.
After four or five years of doing that I thought, “Let’s look at the correlations here. Let’s see how we can apply this material more directly.” We started refining it. Every year since then, we refine the material and try to get it better. It doesn’t happen every year all the time. We take, maybe, three to five to refine it, make it better, more direct and more readily available, and easier to understand and apply.
As they get busier lives, people want things to change yesterday. I’m sorry, but I’m not selling Nescafe here. It’s not instant. I wish it could be Nescafe’s Creating Power. It’s not quite that way. We find ways to make things better. I always look back and say, “How did we get here?” Whether I’m in a jam, whether things have not worked out, or whether things have worked out, I say, “How did we get here. What did we apply to make this happen?”
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Karim, one of the things that many of our listeners and readers struggle with is this. They may have some great knowledge or something they know can be of value to people, but they have a hard time figuring out how to make money doing it. Yet, you went from being a journalist to being a full-on entrepreneur. Will you talk a little about how you gained the skills or learned what you needed to learn to take the knowledge that you used in your own life?
I know that you had helped individuals here and there with it, but how did you transition to be able to make that available to so many people-as we said in the introduction, over 100,000 people now. That’s a significant undertaking. How did that happen?