It was the last weekend of April 1995, and I woke up on a Saturday morning fed up. I’d tried really hard to find my purpose and to figure out what I was supposed to do that day, but I was just fed up.

I made my duas and tried hard to be positive, but I was in a rut. I was at university and my housemates were all busy with their activities, as it was a long weekend.

I stayed in that flat for four whole days. Yes, four whole days. I did not leave, and I did not get out of bed except to pray and watch a bit of TV.  II knew I was wasting time but I was fed up. A few years later I learned a few things that changed my life around and I have never been fed up since, alhamdolillah, since I’ve been teaching these techniques in Chocolate Centred 2014.

As a positive psychologist and online trainer I know the power of small interventions, both in my life and in the lives of many of my students. For example, we all know that smiling is a sunnah recommended by the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. However, did you know that if you smile your well-being will improve and you’ll be happier?

Did you know that you can control what emotions you feel about a particular situation? Let me give you a very personal example. Recently, I was betrayed by a dear friend. The sad thing is that this person had no idea how I felt in response and to this day does not know. I’d lost trust because of something I saw this person do. We had a discussion about other ways of dealing with that particular situation but I was still betrayed.

I realized I had a choice about how to feel and what to do. Allah says in the Quran: . . . and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [Quran 24:22]. So if you forgive, then Allah is more forgiving. Amazing, mashaAllah!

Now, having studied how to forgive from a practical level I knew exactly what I needed to do. I wrote my thoughts on a piece of paper, shredded it, and then forgave that person. All of this was in the space of about 2 hours. Before I knew the practicalities of this I would have lost a dear friend and felt annoyed for months.

We have a choice in how we live our lives. We have a choice in the decisions we make and how we use the skills we have. Humaira made that choice. She was a student of Chocolate Centred in 2012. Humaira said that being in the corporate environment is not easy. She’d started to feel frustrated at the lack of progress she was making in her career and wanted a change. She was either going to get married and quit work or go and work for her dad. None of these options appealed to her.

Humaira found out about Chocolate Centred accidentally and decided to give it a shot. What could she lose? Within six months of completing the course Humaira got a promotion at work and then a year later started a Masters course. Every six months Humaira repeats the course by listening to the audios just to review her goals and targets, mashaAllah.

Chocolate Centred, the Professional Muslimah’s Guide to Success, is a course that will enable you to forgive in this way. You will define what success you want to achieve in 2014 and then learn practical ways to make this happen. This combined with the power of dua and seeking Allah’s help will enable you to make the next 12 months the best in your life so far. Ask yourself what you want to achieve in the next 12 months. Will you allow Chocolate Centred to help you make it all happen?

Saiyyidah Zaidi is a positive psychologist and online trainer. She was Sh Muhammad AlShareefs first NicheHero winner in 2011.

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