10 Things That Inspire Actor Hisham Tawfiq’s Self-Improvement

UPDATED: October 3, 2019
PUBLISHED: October 4, 2019


Hisham Tawfiq, actor


New York City


A star on NBC’s The Blacklist (returning for its seventh season on Oct. 4), Hisham Tawfiq hasn’t had the same career path as most of his co-stars. He served in the Marines during Operation Desert Storm, then as a corrections officer in New York at Sing Sing prison. His first few years acting on The Blacklist overlapped with his day job of serving in the New York City fire department, in Harlem, from which he recently retired.

One thing I try to do every day is…

Pray every morning as soon as I wake up.

I improve myself by…

Working harder every day to be a great father to my son and helping him navigate the obstacles and challenges in this world.

I am at my most calm when…

I’m on my snowboard on top of a snow covered mountain about to go down. I also love the peace and serenity on an empty golf course early in the morning.

My favorite inspiring quote is…

Hisham Tawfiq

“You woke up breathing for a reason.” This quote came to me after working years as a firefighter. I would go to so many calls in the morning about someone being unconscious and subsequently passing overnight; this had a profound impact on me and made me realize the blessing of waking up every morning.

The best thing I’ve seen this year is…

When They See Us, the Netflix miniseries. I grew up in Harlem and know the story and the victims very well. I made sure my son watched it also.

To avoid distractions, I…

Act and listen to music, specifically reggae.

I handle negativity by…

Surrounding myself with positive, uplifting people and experiences. That way my arsenal is full, which wards off negative energy.

One thing that is difficult for me, but I enjoy is…

Stretching. As I become older, I understand the importance of being nimble.

My personal “aha” moment came when…

In my journey of training as an actor, I took a class with a teacher by the name of Susan Batson. There was a moment when I discovered that my emotional blockage was due to unresolved issues around my mother’s death. Once I was able to understand that I became emotionally free which led to freedom in my artistic and personal life.

I define success as…

Financial freedom. It allows me to do what truly makes me happy which is helping and giving back to others, especially those in my community.

Related: 365 Ways to Improve Yourself


This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo courtesy of Justin Stephens/NBC

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