The idea of going out there and begging for my life isn’t something I wanted to do… Then what happened just completely blew my mind.- Mo Haque
What would you do if you hit the rock bottom and can’t see any solution on the horizon?
About Mo Haque
My guest in today’s episode 48 of Meaningful Work Meaningful Life podcast, Mo Haque is a Keynote Speaker and author of Choosing to Stay.
Mo was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer five years ago. When chemo stopped working, a breakthrough drug was his only hope. But there was a problem. The drug was too expensive, and the NHS wouldn’t pay for it. Mo needed to raise money for his cancer treatment. An unexpected event led him to crowdfund over £186,000 to access the potentially life-saving drug and has seen his tumour reduced by over 50%. He joins me in this last episode of 2019 to share his stories of hope, love, and gratitude.
Listen to this inspiring episode to find out how Mo learned to ask for help and wonderful stories of strangers showing him love and helping him through this journey.
Key moments in this episode:
[03:10] About Mo Haque
- What he currently does [03:50]
- What a typical day in Mo’s life looks like [04:54]
- Mo’s morning routine to ground himself [05:42]
- Diet Mo follows [07:04]
- What Mo wanted to be when he was a kid [08:05]
[09:26] Mo talks about how he managed to fundraise £186,000finding after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and not being able to afford a potentially life-saving drug
- Internal questions Mo faced when he decided to start the fundraising campaign [11:37]
[13:58] Mo shares heartwarming stories about receiving love in the most unexpected places during the crowdfunding campaign, from the homeless lady who emptied her pockets to give to the campaign to the strangers who did a 15-day cycle track to raise money.
[20:28] When Mo realised who he is and what he’s meant to do in life
[28:47] Mo talks about his greatest struggle after he was diagnosed and how he hit the rock bottom and the unexpected event that followed which changed the course of his life
[32:53] Mo talks about overcoming pride and ego and learning to ask for help
- Learning to ask respectfully and allowing the answer to be no [33:19]
[37:28] Mo talks about dealing with the death of loved ones and seeing poverty as a child shaped his outlook on life
Fire Questions and Answers
[39:30] How can we do both what we love and get paid for it?
“You start where you are. You need to earn a living, but what can you do from the place you’re in to start making the change?
[45:30] Which movement are you leading or would like to lead or be part of?
“There are a lot of movements I’d like to be a part of.
The past five years I’ve been thrown into the patient empowerment movement. We’re moving into a place where patients need to be more responsible to ask questions. The digital environment allows each patient to be connected with someone in another part of the world to learn about their condition and their treatment more than ever before.
Another movement is equality, diversity and inclusion. And I’m focusing on millennial audience, Millennials who are underrepresented.”
[48:40] If your life was a book or a film, which title would that be?
“Choosing to Stay” could be part one of the movie. The second movie would be called “Humanity Said Yes.”
[49:26] What is your definition of Meaningful Work, Meaningful Life?
“It’s knowing yourself, being yourself, and then loving yourself.”
[51:13] What’s your last piece of guidance to our listeners to do more meaningful work and live a meaningful life?
“Someone shared with me recently during my cancer the following affirmation — I am enough. I do enough. My presence is enough.
If I was to go back and tell a younger version of myself any advice, it will be those three statements.”
Quotes by Mo Haque
- “When I asked how much this drug costs, he said that I needed to be a millionaire.”
- “In order to go out there to fundraise, I had to answer some internal questions — Am I worthy? Am I deserving? I remember going to sleep crying, asking these questions.”
- “There is so much love out there if we’re willing to be vulnerable, willing to put ourselves out there and be seen.”
- “Humanity says yes. The NHS, the drug companies, the government, the Department of Health, everyone said no, but people said yes.”
- “Regardless of what situation you find yourself in, whatever the challenges, there are always choices. You can choose your approach. You can choose the questions you ask, and you can choose the action you either take or you don’t take.”
- “Asking for help is hard. Asking for money is even harder. Learning to ask for help was huge.”
- “Know thyself. Be thyself. Love thyself.”
- “The unexamined life is not worth living.” — Socrates
What is your key takeaway from this episode? What are you committed to do today to find more meaning in your work and live a more meaningful life? Share your thoughts below.
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