Monday, 27 December 2010

Don't Be A 'Quitter'

Different people are affected mentally by different things. Different situations bring out different characteristics from within a person. Sometimes people are presented with a task which they are not comfortable with but they still dig deep (make huge efforts) in order to complete it. On the other hand there are other people who maintain a ‘give up’ mentality; and that is when a difficult situation is presented before them, they immediately feel it is impossible and beyond the boundaries of reality. As a result, they quit at the first hurdle and decide not to push themselves towards the attainment of their goals. This mentality can be simply put as, “When the going gets tough... I quit.”

As Muslims, when we do not understand how to do something our mentality should not be ‘I quit’. Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wa salam and the Companions radiallahu anhum were presented with the severest of tasks. They were presented with tasks of huge magnitude but they did not carry this ‘I quit’ perception in their pockets. Rather, they had unerring fortitude and belief that they will complete their goals. Had they quit at the first hurdle, then how would this deen come to us? Likewise, it is seen over the period of history that the religion of Allah ‘azza wa jal has not been carried by people who had low self esteem and will power. Rather Allah Ta’ala has specifically chosen special souls to do the service of His religion because of their resolute nature. The greatest honour a person can have in this world is to serve this faith we have been gifted with in whatever way possible; whether it be that a person becomes a doctor and helps humanity or that he becomes a scholar and guides people towards the straight path, the basis of our existence is to serve the deen and this can only be done by men and women of strong, resolute, pioneering character.

When a person is presented a task which is outside of his ‘comfort zone’ he immediately begins to think about all his weaknesses. For example, sometimes a person may be asked to read a book out aloud to his class as part of class reading. As soon as this task has been delegated to him, he immediately begins a conversation within his own self along the lines of, “What if I make a mistake? People will laugh at me and think that I am stupid. Some of these English words are looking really big, what if I say it funny and people giggle?” These types of thought are all fuelling and whisperings from shaytaan khabees and should be ignored (say a’uzoo billahi min ash shaytaanir rajeem). When a person begins to think too much about a specific task, he makes it more complex than it really is. One dear friend of mine once advised me to make big things appear to be small so that the pressure is also reduced.

If we are struggling to perform a certain task than our state should not be that we hold our hands up and say, “I can’t do this!” Rather we should look at the task and say, “I do not have the knowledge on how to do this properly just yet but I will learn very quickly and then attempt to do this again.” It is very important to be optimistic at all times as opposed to being pessimistic and negative. When a person is optimistic and hopeful, he begins to brim with confidence and self belief. This will aid him hugely in completing his difficult task as he has already won half the battle which is within his mind. If our condition is such that we begin shaking at the mere possibility of each task then we will run away from it for as long as we live and we will never gain the experience to overcome our ‘teething troubles’ so as to speak.

Sometimes, to produce a resolute and stalwart characteristics within oneself is really hard, especially if the person is a soft person by nature. In situations such as these, my humble advice would be to use my ‘goli maro bhai’ (fire a bullet to the world) method. A person should not think too much and work by the spur of the moment. It is like when we get an injection from the nurse. We look at the needle and begin to get so scared. Sometimes people begin to cry just by seeing the needle that Allah bachai, this nurse is going to do my zabah (sacrifice)! Then when the time comes we know we can’t get away from it so we close our eyes and hope for the best but as soon as the needle comes in and out, the first words we say are, “That didn’t hurt you know.” This is spur of the moment ‘goli maro’ theory.

May Allah Ta’ala give us all the ability to strengthen our resolve and be from those people who achieve our ambitions. May He take great service of deen from us. Ameen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

:) this is a very nice article. lately ive been having the 'i quit' mentality but it actually not only put a smile on my face but this article will probably make me more optimistic from now on. jzk