Month: September 2011

Don’t Be Defeated By Defeat

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Have you ever tasted the bitterness of defeat? It could break your heart, it could make you cry, it could stress you out but will it make you strong? I’ve always tried to understand the philosophy behind emotions. So what is defeat? It’s that frustration that fills you when you know that you can no longer win. It’s what I felt when I had plummeted rock-bottom in my career. I knew I couldn’t win- for I have tried so many times to make my previous job work -so I quit. There’s a saying that goes like, “If it’s hot in the kitchen then get out of it.”

I have to admit I’ve felt it more than once in my personal life; trying to make relationships work but failing miserably. For instance, when I was in high school, I used to always wonder what makes people like my brother or cousin quite popular, and I was always frustrated because I had few friends, and I wasn’t even able to keep those for long. Now, personally, I’ve come a long way and yet I’m still the loner that I’ll always be. I have a lot of friends – mind you – but my natural disposition leans towards loner-ism. I have accepted that as a fact, and I decided to just move on with life. As long as I was content with who I am, it really doesn’t matter if I don’t get the 1,000,000 million views on my blog, or if I don’t have 600 emails to respond to. The limited audience of this blog makes me quite comfortable actually, knowing exactly who I am talking to when I’m writing this, and what problems I’m trying to address.

So we were talking about defeat…Now when you lose in getting what you want over and over again, it leads to despair – or ya2s. A point reaches when you’re this close to giving up once and for all, it’s when married couples have “The Talk” preceding a divorce, or when a person throws out his plan of running his own company to go to the vegetable market and sell watermelons (nothing wrong with selling watermelons, by the way).So upon losing over and over again, you reach the crossroads, where you have to make a choice. You either keep on ploughing forward or you turn back and leave the trail for something simpler, something more comfortable, something that you can easily win.

So how do you sustain that momentum to keep on going?

1) Remember that this could be your final “Crossroad”. They say that people don’t realize how close they are to success before they give up. With that in mind, keep on telling yourself, that this could be your final burden and maybe one day it would.

2) Don’t give in to despair. Remember that as a Muslim, you have the most powerful tool in your disposal and that is the power of duaa.

3) Don’t make failure an option. Don’t make turning back an option. Be like the army that had the enemy in front of them and the ocean behind them so that they knew giving up and turning back would just mean running into the sea – definitely not for a swim.

4) Try alternate plans to reach the goal or solve the problem. Sometimes we get so caught up in the details of the problem, that no space exists in our brains to allow for solutions to be created. Let’s say, you lose your bag with your wallet, mobile phone? A lot of people’s first reaction is to complain, lament, recall all the incidents that lead to losing the bag…

“If only I didn’t put it there…”

“Who could have possibly taken it?”

Enough with expanding the problem and just work on solving it. Cancel your bank cards, get badal fa8ed for your number. Get over it!!

There’s a quote by D’Angelo that says, ” Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems. “

Also remember the hadeeth;

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “المؤمن القوي خير وأحب إلى الله من المؤمن الضعيف، وفي كل خير، احرص على ما ينفعك، واستعن بالله، ولا تعجز، وإن أصابك شيء فلا تقل: لو أني فعلت كان كذا وكذا، ولكن قل: قدر الله وما شاء فعل فإن لو تفتح عمل الشيطان” (1) .
صحيح مسلم

Imam Muslim narrated in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both. Guard over that which benefits you, seek Allah’s Assistance, wa laa ta’jiz (do not loose hope or deem yourself incapable), and if something befalls you, then don’t say ‘If I only would have done such and such,’ rather say, ‘Qaddarallahu wa maa sha’ fa’al’ (Allah ordained (this) and He does what He wills), for verily the phrase ‘If I would have’ opens the gate for the work of Shaytan.” [1]

5) Make the best of every defeat. Make a note of lessons learnt, people met, advise taken. Maybe with time you’ll realize that the long road that took you to the solution was more beneficial than any short-cut you would have taken because the long road taught you a lot.

Quote of the Day

أليس من العجيب أن حشره كالنمله إذا وضعت أصبعك أمامها وهي تسير ..وجدتها لم تقف.. ولم تتجمد ،… ولم تبرر عجزها.. وتلقيه على صغر جرمها ،بل تذهب يميناً أو شمالاً أو تلتف أو تغير اتجاهها ،فما بال أحدنا يضرب رأسه في العائق الذي أمامه ألف مرة ،ولايفكر ولو مرة واحده في تغيير طريقتة ..د. سلمان العوده

That’s it for now. If you’ve benefited from this post, share, if not…ignore.

[1] http://maqasid.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/meadows-of-paradise-strong-believer-v-weak-believer-exposition-of-a-hadith-from-sahih-muslim-abdullah-hasan-east-london-mosque-fri-220509-7pm/

Who Are You?- من أنتم ؟

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Remember this;

Now forget Gaddafi for a second, and go back to your room. Lock the door, and take a long look at yourself in the mirror. Do you ask yourself the same question? “Who are you?” Because sometimes we must adopt a different persona for the sake of leading a more peaceful life with others – but what about leading a more peaceful life with ourselves?

Today I’m going to share with you some insight from books I’ve read about demystifying yourself, or to be more accurate, to answer the question, “Who are you?”

You know, they say that it doesn’t matter where you came from but what matters is where you want to go. Now look at your past with respect to your current position. A lot of small choices and decisions led you to where you are right now. You are defined by a combination of unique talents, values and character traits. Where do you get those character traits from? Some you’ve picked up from your parents, some from pop culture, some from society, but part of your behaviors is a direct result of things that happened within your own life. Go back in time and recall what would be called “life-altering moments” or “defining moments”. Moments that could have happened when you were still a child that strongly impacted your character in a way that made you change forever.

For most people, the life-altering moment might not be so profound to someone else other than themselves. Let’s say someone gets teased by his colleagues constantly about being overweight. If the person is a confident 21-year-old, he could laugh it off. but if the person is an insecure 8-year-old, he could go home crying. This moment could be a life-altering moment for the 8-year-old.

So back to that exercise to discover what it is that makes you who you are, go back to your personal histories to point out defining moments in your lives. To identify a defining moment, it is a moment of great change, to the better or the worse. If the change had been to the worse, understanding where it came from could save you hours of pain and/or psychiatric therapy in the long-term, because once you know the source of a problem you have, you could go ahead and eliminate it.

You’re probably thinking, “Easier said than done.”

But try putting your history on paper, and unraveling moment after moment that build you up – or broke you down – made you the success that you are – or the failure – and get an answer to that question;

“Who are you?”

Or as Gaddafi said,

من أنتم ؟