Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
Media channels are running recaps of last year’s great events. Why don’t we run recaps of our lives in 2015?
Banking institutions are dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s of their account books. Why don’t we do the same?
Big companies are formulating their big plans for 2016. Why don’t we make our own plans?
Every now and then we need to step back from our lives and take a hard look. What have I done with my life so far? Am I going closer or far away from my goals? How do I improve my life-performance?
We are at the meeting point of two eternities– the past and the future. We learn from the former and take those lessons to improve the latter. So let us right now think about our life at this moment and search for:
The 5 Things I Achieved in 2015
We tend to focus too much on what we have not achieved. But in fact, our achievements matter a lot in forming our future plans, because looking at them gives us hope and informs us of our capacities. It also gives us a bench-mark on which to build future accomplishments.
So can you think of five things you’ve really done well this year? Here are a few questions to help you out:
What have I achieved in my life in terms of spiritual development? Education? Social relationships? Work and career? What bad habits have I successfully purged out? What lasting good habits have I formed? Have I made any positive difference to any other person’s life?
Here’s a dummy list as an example:
- I made the habit of praying Fajr every morning.
- I got close to my mother.
- I helped a poor family earn a living.
- I stopped biting my nails.
- I got married!
Now that we have a clear recap of our main achievements of 2015, let’s make new plans, with the permission of Allah:
5 Things I Want to Achieve in 2016
This needs some serious introspection. A good method of doing this is Socratic questioning.
First of all, be clear what your ultimate goals in life are. Ask yourself:
What is my end goal?
Paradise, of course.
How do I want to achieve it?
By getting close to Allah.
What strengths have Allah given me with which to get close to Him? What weaknesses do I have that are hindering me from doing so?
Here’s a dummy plan built on the dummy list above:
- I want to make the habit of praying the 12 rakah sunnahs with my daily prayers.
- I want to make the habit of having a tête-à-tête with my mother daily.
- I want to learn 50% of Quranic Arabic
- I want to stop binge eating.
- I want to have kids!
Tabassum M is a student of MA in Islamic Studies at IOU and an intermediate level student at al-Salam Institute. She also has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is interested in psychology, sociology, history and current affairs, sharing her reflections at the blog sections of IIPH and Ibana. Contact: email@example.com