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A Story on Applying Yourself, No Matter What - Malik Ambar's Journey

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Malik Ambar's parents never got to see his success.

Because they sold him as a child slave.

That hurts.

One day you're a child with loving parents. And then handled by strangers in a foreign land. Sometimes life can be cruel, but this isn't about cruelty, but opportunity.

Malik Ambar was born in modern-day Ethiopia with the name Chapu. But for reasons we will never know, he was sold into the Arab slave trade.

On the slave markets of Yemen,

Chapu was bought by an Arab slave owner. And as luck would have it, his new owner educated Chapu so that he could handle his businesses. This is the same owner who changed Chapu's name and converted him to Islam.

Malik Ambar accompanied his owner across the Indian Ocean to conduct new business in India. Malik didn't realize that he would be the centre of one of these new business ventures.

As he was once again sold to another owner.

However, this owner would change the direction of Ambar's life. This new owner was a former slave from Africa named Chengiz Khan. But unlike most ex-slaves, Chengiz Khan was successful and served as the chief minister of the Sultanate of Ahmadnagar.

So Malik was exposed to the politics and military of his time.

And on top of that, he realized that slaves could climb the ranks of society, just like his slave master. So he trained as a soldier, which only impressed Chengiz Khan, who saw Malik as a future leader. So he took him as his personal aide and groomed him.

But as luck would have it, Chengiz Khan was accused of treason and executed. As painful as this was for Malik, he was set free by his master's wife. Something he hasn't experienced in two decades.

With his freedom, Malik enlisted in another local army, married, and had children. This would be a successful life for most, especially when starting out as a slave.

But his story doesn't end there.

Malik Ambar became one of the most powerful men in India. Where he navigated cutthroat politics and fought off the much bigger Mughal empire.

His life is something of a legend.

And despite being etched in history as one of the most successful military and political leaders in Indian history. His parents will never know how much of a success their son was.

Now this story isn't about parents missing out on their child's life. But it is more about how Malik made something of himself when things were against him.

He took advantage of being educated.

He took advantage of becoming a soldier.

And most importantly, he took advantage of his freedom.

A portrait of Malik Ambar
Malik Ambar living his best life

A lot of us have challenges in life.

And for some of us, we have even more significant challenges. Life is challenging for all types of people.

But the ones that become something are the ones who take advantage of their difficulties.

Malik Mabar could have been a useless slave.

But he used his talents whenever possible, from running his master's business to learning to be a soldier.

I understand; he was a slave and did not have much choice. But he did have a choice to apply himself completely. He could have been a lousy business operations owner or a lazy soldier. Which, in both cases, would have seen him be designated a different type of slave.

But he applied himself.

And over time, he took advantage of the small opportunities that came his way. And he ended up taking full advantage of his freedom. Which ultimately led him to be one of the more politically savvy military leaders of his time.

This is the lesson to take away for ourselves: No matter how difficult a situation is, we must find opportunities to apply ourselves. Life will be challenging, and continually throw sucker punches.

But that is not an excuse.

You need to realize that there are opportunities even in the worst situations. And so many of us don't see the opportunities because we get so caught up in how hard our situation is rather than accept it for what it is and then spot our eyes for when we can turn the tide just a little.

Anyways, I think you're getting the point.

But I want you all to realize that you have unrealized potential, but it's useless if you don't apply yourself.

Life will always be hard.

But you can make it better when you give it your all.

Until next time,


The Charismatic Nerd


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