7-Point Plan for Achieving Your Dreams

Climbing a steep mountain

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Aaisha stated that Prophet Muhammad (Shallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) said, “The deeds which Allah loves the most are those done regularly, even if they are small.” (Bukhari & Muslim).

You can achieve tremendous things if you just take one step at a time and keep on going, letting nothing stop you. You can get a doctorate, or a black belt in martial arts, memorize the Quran, write a book, start a successful business, or any other great achievement, if you are consistent, as steady as the sun. It’s not about the big push. It’s the light but steady touch that does it.

1. Begin in the name of Allah (Almighty God, the Eternal and Omnipotent, the Creator of all). Always remember to call upon Him and ask His help. With Allah, all things are possible. And in seeking more, always be grateful for what you have. “And remember when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will give you more.'” (Quran, Surat Ibrahim, 14:7). The number of blessings in your life is limitless.

2. Make a plan. Put your plan on paper, and follow it. Don’t limit yourself. Enlarge your thoughts and hold an image in your mind of what you want to achieve. Visualize yourself succeeding, and see the steps necessary to make this happen.

Be as specific as possible when writing your plan. Don’t only write, “I will memorize the Quran in my lifetime.” Write down the first step: “I will memorize three surahs from Juz Amma this month.” Instead of writing, “I will get fit,” write, “I will work out Mon-Wed-Fri from 5pm to 6pm and will lose 5 pounds this month.” Instead of writing, “I will go back to school one day,” write, “I will enroll at City College for the next fall semester.” You get the idea.

3. Know yourself. Work on your project during the time of day when you are most productive. I personally work on these articles first thing in the morning while my mind is fresh. I wake up, say a dua’ of thanks, do a couple of yoga stretches, then sit in front of the computer and write.

Work on your goal every day, no matter what mood you’re in, whether you are tired, sick, depressed or discouraged. Just do it. If you need help, seek someone who knows.

4. Believe in yourself. Condition your mind that you can and you will. Be around people who believe in you and support your goals. During my first Hapkido martial arts grading, three senior instructors sat at the judging table. I did very well, and after my test one of the instructors said, “I expect to see you on this side of the table one day.” I never forgot that and it helped to propel me forward.

Keep positive and constructive thoughts flowing through your mind. When you find negative thoughts creeping in, send them away and replace them with positive images of yourself succeeding. Which brings me to…

5. Abolish negativity. Give up “I can’t” and all such negative phrases. Separate yourself from negative people who only find fault and express doubt. Such people cannot change their own lives, let alone helping you with yours. Negative people can destroy you if you let them. So don’t let them.

Never deprecate yourself. Don’t call yourself names, or tell yourself that you are stupid, clumsy, or hopeless. Other people will do enough of that for you. No need to aid them.

Also try to let go of anger, resentment, bitterness and suspicion. Those emotions consume a lot of energy and hold you back spiritually and even physically. You might feel like those emotions protect you in some way, but I have lived on that dark side of the street and I can tell that negativity can only destroy. It cannot build. You don’t need those dark emotions. Experience them, then let them go. Use that energy to move forward instead.

6. Take responsibility. If you fail, be honest about the reasons why, and look for a way to solve the problem. See failure as a chance to improve. Don’t try to blame others, as that only sends your energy in the wrong direction. If you trip and fall you don’t stand in one place looking for a tree root or a crack in the sidewalk to blame. You get up and move on, and maybe you watch your step a little more carefully, or pick your feet up higher.

Also do not blame your life circumstances, lack of funds, lack of qualifications, or whatever. No one is born into a perfect life. Take what you have and build on it.

It’s your dream, your plan, your life. Take responsibility and make it happen.

7. Be consistent. Take action. Do. Work toward your plan every day, no matter what else is happening in your life, but don’t burn yourself out. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) already gave us the formula in the hadith above. Persistence, determination, small steps, one after another, every day.

That’s how you change yourself, and change the world. I am giving away the formula, free of charge.

That’s how you conquer a mountain. That’s how the most majestic redwood tree grows. That’s how the Prophets (peace be upon them) did what they did. One step at a time, and keep on going, and you will do great things, Insha’Allah. I am writing down my plan today. Will you do the same?

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , Read 266 articles by
7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Tony Olivas says:

    Masha’allah brother. What a great article. You know your articles really inspire me. Maybe one day we can meet up for some Hapkido lessons. 🙂 Take care and know your article just aided me in the new job I am in the process of learning. 🙂


    • wael says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Tony, and I’m glad the article helped you. Yes, I would love to do some Hapkido with you. By the way I also teach Silat, which is the Muslim fighting art of the Malay people (Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, southern Thailand). It’s a great art – rapid strikes, sweeps, head manipulation, breaks, and an extensive blade fighting repertoire. You are a Kajukenbo guy, right? Maybe you could come to my group and teach a guest class sometime. I need some of that focus on conditioning that you guys have.

  2. smiling radia says:

    Assalam o Alaikum brother wael! thanks a lot for such useful and great article. i need a little help from u though being a muslim i know ”the solution ” is in our pocket.especially after reading ur article.Actually I want to say all my 5 prayers and reading translation of Holy Quran . I want to make a good prayer and recitation routine that may become my habit for my whole life but i didn’t know how to start (i.e in small or baby steps) so that it become a part of my daily life.especially to read translation . This is the free time I’ m single, my education is completed and moreover i didn’t apply for any job so that to avoid tiredness as one of the excuses for not accomplishing my these two goals of life.but i m much afraid of ”how to start”.and think ”i can’t do it ” or ” i will certainly fail to memorize this(translation of Holy Quran).the message or code of life that every muslim should know. since a long time almost a year i’ m trying to act upon this beautiful hadith e mubaraka “The deeds which Allah loves the most are those done regularly, even if they are small.” but i always fail to plot a sketch or a routine of such small but consistent deeds :-c. plzzzzzzzzzz if u or anyone could help me Allah will certainly give u jazza of it inshAllah!:-D i’m so sorry for my poor english:-( forgive me plz:-D
    smiling radia

  3. wael says:

    Sister Radia, wa alaykum as-salam,

    You already know what you must do, and my words will make little difference. My words cannot compel you to make wudu’ and bow down in salat, or to open the Quran. The motivation must come from your own heart and soul. At some point you have to stop thinking about it and desiring it, and just do it. You have to have that discipline to do it every day, no matter what.

    But I can give you a few tricks that might help. There are 6,236 ayaat (verses) in the Quran. If you divide this by 365, you get approximately 17. So if you read 17 verses per day of the Quran, you will complete the entire book in one year.

    As far as salat, my suggestion is that you check the salat times in your area each day and write them down on the inside of your wrist or arm. This will be a reminder to you all day long. Of course if you do wudu too many times it will get washed off and you’ll have to re-write it.

    I hope these suggestions will help Insha’Allah. In the end it’s up to you to find the strength.

  4. smiling radia says:

    Thanks a lot and Jazakallah khair brother Wael ! for ur time to guide me. i’m so glad 😀 And now I must promise myself to try my best with the help of Allah Almighty to act upon ur suggestions.
    Thanks once again.

    smiling radia.

  5. Nilanovari says:

    Alhamdulillah this is the most amazing article so far for me. Thanks to Allah and the author ; )

  6. Mohamed says:

    Peace be upon you, brother Wael. My name is Mohamed and i’m an engineering student studying aerospace. I feel extremely grateful to Allah that he has blessed me with ‘Taqwa’ to be among the righteous servants of the Almighty and I am doing my best to learn more about Islam as well as practice obligatory requirements without fail as a faithful ‘preparation’ for the life hereafter. Ever since I am a boy, I have always been inspired by space and exploration. I always feel that Allah has incited this dream to explore the space – so at the end I could wonder the greatness of Him and uphold his Authority. I also have ambition to start a private space company in my country, as well as create a Revolution in Education, Agriculture and Energy and become successful in Life so I could help make this world a better place in a right way. I have no intention living a luxurious life, but wealthy enough to give back to the society and I feel nothing bad about it. Most of my muslim friends confuse me saying that you are in a wrong path and the Devil misguides you with worldly desires.

    All I am asking you is, Can a muslim man have ambitions in Life? am I really being misguided by the Devil to follow the worldly desires? They say we are created just to worship the Almighty that we should never engage ourselves with this world, is it true? I am confused.


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