College of Business > News & Events > DePaul Marketing Student Writes Self-Improvement Book
By Jaclyn Lansbery /
December 2, 2020 /
Posted in: Students /
Illinois native Amber Farooqui has always enjoyed working out. At just 18 years old, she even worked as a freelance fitness coach. But this summer, Farooqui, who is enrolled in the
Marketing Honors Program at the Driehaus College of Business, underwent a five-hour surgery for severe endometriosis, putting her on bed rest for nearly a month.
The downtime led her to write the book, “Finding Your Fit: A Guide to Living Your Best Life,” which she self-published on Amazon in September. According to
Newsline, a daily e-newsletter published by DePaul University, the book quickly became a No. 1 bestseller in the new releases category for inspiration and self-development. It’s also remained popular in categories for teens and young adults. Farooqui devotes each chapter of her book to one of five dimensions of “fit”: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing.
“I was actually never much of a reader growing up, and the first time I truly enjoyed reading was when I was 18 years old and read my first self-improvement book,” she says. The first book was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, which has been called the "Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature.”
Below, Farooqui discusses how she makes the most of every day, plus offers tips on how students can motivate themselves.
What drew you to DePaul and why did you decide to study marketing/business?
My older sister was actually going to DePaul, so of course I wanted to be in the same school and graduate from the same university as her. But what really drew me to DePaul was the business school. DePaul is very well known for their business program, given its location in the heart of the big city and connections to huge companies. Plus, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in business in some way.
You took Deborah Siegel-Acevedo’s “You: On the TEDx Stage” course in the College of Communication and ended up writing a short talk about the benefits of homeschooling. What led you to enroll in her class and choose this topic for your talk?
I’ve always been interested in doing a TED talk. I saw this as a wonderful opportunity for a great experience. It definitely was one of the best courses I have taken at DePaul. I focused on talking about the benefits of homeschooling because that is something that has made a huge difference in my life, and now seeing that everyone is being forced to be homeschooled currently due to the circumstances in the world, I felt like it was a really relevant topic.
I was homeschooled during my sophomore and junior year of high school. I chose to be homeschooled, and my dad said the only way he would let me be homeschooled is if I moved to his vacation home in Mexico, which was a completely foreign and new country for me. It was such a different experience but definitely ended up being two of the best years of my life.
Your book covers what you call the five dimensions of wellness: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. What made you focus on these topics specifically and how do you approach them in your book?
Being fit is so much more than your physical appearance – it’s about reaching fulfillment, adapting to all aspects of your life and meeting your required purpose. My book was created to be a guide to help the reader reach that fulfillment and to find that purpose through all aspects of their life. Not just the physical but also the mental, emotional, spiritual and social, which I cover in the five main chapters of my book.
How do you balance the various aspects of your day-to-day life, such as work, school and fitness?
I incorporate physical fitness by going to the gym daily, or at least doing some sort of movement with my body, whether that is an actual workout, an at-home workout, or even walking outside for 20 minutes.
I incorporate mental fit into my day-to-day life by trying to always maintain a positive mindset, doing daily affirmations, managing my time with creating schedules and time blocking, as well as reflecting every single day, especially in the mornings before I start the day.
I work on my emotional fit by meditating, journaling my thoughts, and working on being emotionally regulated throughout my entire day.
I am huge on being spiritually fit, which I do through daily prayers, expressing gratitude, and manifestation, a technique utilizes the law of attraction to attract all your wants and desires into real life. Oh, and also traveling when I can. Lastly I try to maintain my social fit daily by bonding with my loved ones, whether that is family or friends, as well as being social on social media since that is a big part of what I do for work. It sounds like a lot but once you learn how to manage certain tasks into your day-to-day life, it becomes a lot easier.
What advice would you give to college students and to anyone who might feel disengaged while taking online classes?
This year has definitely been a stressful and hard time not only students but for everyone. For students who feel disengaged with their peers and student life, I would recommend trying to get more involved with networking. Right now we need to take advantage of all the opportunities we have. We are being given more time and more resources than ever before and yet we tend to keep complaining. I think that we need to shift our mindset on what is going on in the world and see it as a blessing in disguise. This does not discount anything going on in the world—but I think each of us has the ability to come out stronger from this rather than falling off.
One thing I do to keep myself going during times like this is whenever I have a negative thought, I turn it into a positive one. For example, a lot of us are complaining about being bored since we are not able to go out as much anymore due to the pandemic. Instead of being upset about this, realize that right now you can take that time to spend more time with those in your household, whether that is family or friends. Or, if you are living alone, maybe taking that time to work on yourself since in the daily busy life you don’t have all that down time at home as much as you do right now. I truly believe we can all get through this together if we choose to.