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?